School takes on more students due to places shortfall

10:40am Tuesday 6th May 2014

By Lauren Howard

A PRIMARY school has agreed to take even more pupils in response to the growing need for places across Hampshire.

Colden Common Primary School had planned to build two new classrooms on its site at Upper Moors Road to accommodate a further 45 children per year. Now, with growing demand, the school has agreed to accept 60 children in September 2014 and 2015.

At a public consultation last month parents voiced concerns that pressure on places would only increase further over the next 20 years with the extra 250 houses being built as part of Winchester City Council’s local plan.

In a newsletter to parents, the school said: “Having looked at the numbers applying for 2014 the governors were asked to consider accommodating a temporary modular building on the site. It was agreed that this would be on site by the end of August 2014 for the benefit of Colden Common and the young families that are being displaced to schools in the wider area.

“However, it became apparent that taking 45 children in 2014 would still leave children without a place and schools nearby would also be having difficulty accommodating the additional Colden Common children. Therefore the decision has been taken to accept 60 children in Year R (reception) this academic year and increase to 45 in Year 1 and 2. We have also agreed to take up to 60 Year R children in 2015.”

Winchester and Chandler’s Ford Conservative MP Steve Brine said: “This is great news for parents in Colden Common and part of the success we’ve had right across the area to bring new primary places online for this September. As a parent with young children I know the relief this move will bring to many. “All credit to the school and the county council, who I know have not come to this decision lightly but have done so with a sensible worked- through plan that accommodates the bulge years we’re currently experiencing, while building in flexibility for the future so as to avoid a repeat of the expensive places surplus seen once before at the school.”

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