Plans for new primary school

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.

Sunday, 29th January 2017, 10:00 am
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

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.

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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.”