Plans for new primary school

Topping out ceremony at the new  Hampton Gardens secondary school with guests and staff from builders Carillion EMN-160612-153454009

Topping out ceremony at the new Hampton Gardens secondary school with guests and staff from builders Carillion EMN-160612-153454009

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Plans are being drawn up for a new primary school in Hampton with parents currently facing a waiting list of 60 places to get their child into their first-choice primary school in that area of Peterborough.

To help ease the pressure on the three existing Hampton primaries a fourth is being proposed in the Hampton Gardens development in London Road where a secondary school is opening this September.

A free school bid for the new two-form primary has been submitted by the Hampton Academies Trust with a decision expected in March.

It is hoped the new school will open for the start of term in September 2019.

Brian Howard, head of schools infrastructure at Peterborough City Council, told the council’s cabinet that: “Hampton is a concern,” with parents facing a “struggle to get a place.”

The new primary, he said, would “provide a buffer for Hampton,” in the short to medium term.

Mr Howard added: “Waiting lists can fluctuate daily based on leavers and new applications but, typically for the present reception year, we are averaging between 50 to 60 children on a waiting list for the three Hampton primaries in total.

“These children will be in schools, perhaps even in one Hampton school, but on a waiting list for one of the others as their preference.”

The cabinet were discussing a plan for school places which states that pressure for Year 7 places will be “critical” by 2018.

However, council leader and education cabinet member Councillor John Holdich said: “There’s no alarm on school places at the moment. This is a plan that looks into the future.”

Mr Howard added: “Although we have invested heavily and we have capacity moving forward, I do believe we need to invest in some expansions in some planning areas for primary schools to continue to meet the demands.”

The school place plan also includes a new two-form entry primary at Paston Reserve which would sit on the same site as a new secondary school, with both opening in September 2019.

The cabinet also discussed a reduction to its schools’ budget of £1.5 million which is largely due to a £1 million government cut.

The financial pressures will be tackled when the council publishes its second and final plans for its 2017/18 budget tomorrow.

Cllr Holdich added: “It’s smoke and mirrors.

“We’ve not cut education, it’s cut itself.”