Investment boost to expand Poole secondary school

Investment boost to expand Poole secondary school

St Aldhelm’s Secondary Academy school is set to expand to meet the ongoing demand for school places.

Councillors at BCP Council’s Cabinet on 13 January will be asked to consider the proposal to permanently expand the school to allow for 180 pupils per year group with investment of £610,000 from Department for Education Basic Needs capital grant.

If approved, the school building would need additional capacity so that it could accommodate up to 180 pupils per year group. The proposal sets out the delivery of five additional classroom and ancillary spaces on the school site using modular build so that it can be ready for the new school year in September 2021.

This proposal follows an investment of £390,000 in May 2020 that enabled additional capacity to be created to allow 180 pupils to be admitted in September 2020 only. The additional expansion will allow the school to expand permanently to meet the increasing demand.

Councillor Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for Covid Resilience, Schools and Skills, said: “We are facing an increased demand on secondary school places over the next three years across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. St Aldhelm’s has increased in popularity and is currently full to capacity. If we do nothing, we would have to reduce the number of school places for admission in 2021 and this would also put additional pressure on other schools in the area. We have a duty to provide enough school places across the area and the proposal sets out a solution which would mean the school could continue to meet the demand anticipated for the future and provide enough space and modern facilities to support the expansion.”

The report will be considered at Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 4 January 2021 before being presented to Cabinet.

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Posted on Wednesday 23 December 2020