primary school plan - kingsbourne and weaver stadium

A proposal for a new “free” primary school in Nantwich has been unveiled by Cheshire East Council.

The school would be built as part of the new Kingsbourne housing development near Nantwich Town’s stadium between Waterlode, the A51 at Reaseheath, and River Weaver.

The £3.5 million school, which could include a 30-place nursery, may be open as early as September 2024 and be run by a sponsor or sponsors.

Projections show increasing population in the town due to large housing development at Kingsbourne will leave a shortfall in primary places.

A Section 106 agreement – a condition attached to the 1,100-house development – includes funding contributions
from the housing developers of £2.27m to help fund the school.

The rest would come from a Basic Need government capital grant.

A report by Ged Rowney, Interim Director Children’s Services, to be heard by the CEC Children and Families Committee on Monday (July 12), recommends that councillors approve a plan to open consultation with residents, other local schools, local councillors, town council and local MP.

It says current forecasts for years Reception to Year 6 between 2021 to 2025 show “an immediate shortage of primary school places in 2021 increasing year on year to indicate a shortfall of 65 places by 2025”.

“These figures do include additional pupils anticipated from new housing in the area, including a proportion of pupils from the Kingsley Fields development.

“These figures do not include the desired 2% level of operational surplus, which is intended to facilitate admissions mid-year, some degree of parental choice and reasonable journey times to school.”

Figures also show that many current primary schools in the Nantwich area will be over-subscribed by 2025, with only Nantwich Primary Academy, Millfields and St Anne’s Catholic School able to take on additional pupils.

Expansion of these schools has been ruled out to due to location and site, the report adds.

“Nantwich is an area that has consistently experienced a number of “in year” applications from families moving into Cheshire East,” the report outlines.

“Providing additional places at this new school will help ensure that local children, including cared for children, can be offered a place at their local school.

“We have had families moving in to the Nantwich area where we have been unable to offer a place at a local preference school and there has been only one school with a vacancy in the relevant year group or it has been difficult to accommodate siblings within the same school.

“As a result, some families have chosen to send their children to schools outside the immediate Nantwich area.

“An increase in capacity in the Nantwich area would provide more places for families moving into the area particularly outside the usual admissions rounds and reduce pressure on families in managing their child’s journey to school and help them settle into their local community.

“The new school will provide the required places for the pupils from the development, limiting the impact on smaller rural schools and enabling such schools to retain their rural character and not have to expand.”

The proposal is to create a Free school which would be run by potential sponsors, who would be approved by Government.

Free schools are funded by Government but are not run by the local authority, which means they have more control over how they do things.

Free schools can set their own pay and conditions for staff and change the length of school terms and the school day, and do not have to follow the national curriculum.

They can be run by a range of sponsors such as charities, universities, independent schools, community and faith groups, teachers, parents, or local businesses.

Read the full report to go before Cheshire East committee here.

3 Comments

  1. M Cordhall says:

    Some councils insist that the schools are built on a site when the first 100 houses are sold, that way you are closer to achieving places for all younger children as the site progresses. Given that this site was started in 2013 knowing fully that there would be over 1,000 built it is rather hollow to hear now that the completion date for a new school is some 3 yrs away and 11yrs since the builders arrived!! So year by year congestion and pollution will be caused because nobody I presume considered the road chaos with cars driving children to school in other areas not close by, utter genius!! Plus what happens for senior pupils?

  2. Lucy says:

    Ok, so how is this a surprise? And why are they waiting u til NOW to start movement when the houses have been occupied for some time?

    It’s been a huge concern from local residents to Nantwich that the surrounding rural primary schools would become flooded with overflow and what is also concerning is that no thought appears to have been given to the already bottle-necked car-park that is the road past and through the reasehearh roundabout. How do you expect to fit some 2,200 (2 car average per household) onto that already congested road or through town, which is also at a standstill during normal work/school transit times. This was already a disaster waiting to happen and we’ve been given no information on how this was ‘planned’ to be solved or when by.

    I believe the council should not be allowing the message that the new school is being built ‘for free’ and hail the developers as some mystical miracle come in to help the town – they are just meeting their basic obligation of the planning order and agreement – this seems far too late to my simple brain. It’s basically about time!

    The little market town’s infrastructure was simply not in any state or size to accommodate such a massive expansion of residents. The GPS surgeries where you can’t get an appointment, the town where you can’t get a parking space to shop local. The schools, the nurseries who have high prices because of the overly subscribed waiting lists. Basically everything. I can’t understand how the council could let this go ahead without a parallel expansion of the provision for schools, GP surgeries, leisure facilities where there is an intimate waiting list at Nantwich baths to teach your little one to swim and save their lives. The list goes on.
    Maybe the council receive a grant from the government to allow expansion of housing near the town? If so I’d be delight to know what they do with the money co soldering we are all weaving endlessly and in some cases very dangerously around crater sized potholes – in a country which mist have some of the worse in the whole country.

    So, please forgive me if I’m not grateful and wave a flag for the developers ‘gift to the community’ it’s actually about time they got on with their obligation for being allowed to make a fortune of developing the enormous estate in the first place.

    Yours
    Resident

  3. George Beardsell says:

    So, how many pupils will this school take? How many new pupils from the new development at Kingsley Fields? What provision is envisaged for secondary school pupils? How about finding doctors for all the new residents? Lots of questions but just flim flam and slaver from Cheshire East.

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