County Council considers proposal for new primary school in Hampshire

County Council considers proposal for new primary school in Hampshire

County Council considers proposal for new primary school in Hampshire

First published in News Hampshire Chronicle: Photograph of the Author by

HAMPSHIRE County Council is considering proposals for a second primary school in Whiteley.

The school being proposed by the Portsmouth and Winchester Dioceses is a one-form entry Church of England Voluntary Aided primary school.

Land owned by the county council has been identified as a possible temporary site.

The plan by Winchester City Council to bring forward the north Whiteley development area for housing over the next few years has prompted the proposal by the dioceses to establish.

The school could open on its temporary site, ready to take its first pupils this September.

The dioceses have consulted on the proposals and received widespread community support, as it will enable local children to go to school within the development rather than travelling to local schools nearby.

The proposal is to initially locate the school temporarily next to Lady Betty's Drive and Leafy Lane and later relocated to purpose-built buildings once that land has been released by developers.

It would become a three-form entry school as North Whiteley grows.

Councillor Roy Perry, executive member for children's services was considering the proposals as the Chronicle went to press, said: “The county council recognised the need for additional places to meet demand in Whiteley several years ago and we were very disappointed that the site that was proposed then, could not be secured.

“I completely understand parents' desire to have their children attend schools close to where they live so I look forward to considering these proposals which will provide additional school places in Whiteley to meet the demand for places now, and in the future.”

Ken Thornber, county council leader, will today be asked (24 January), to approve the release of the land, and the procurement processes for the buildings. They will cost just over £2m and will be funded by the county council.

He added: “The County Council first looked at building another primary school in Whiteley in 2006 but unfortunately we were not able to secure a suitable site on which to build a permanent school, which satisfied all the requirements at the time. This proposal could be the best approach in enabling the provision of much-needed primary school places on a temporary basis until north Whiteley is developed.”

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