A new city primary school will now either be built at the Hove Park Depot or Hove Park School’s upper site, Brighton and Hove City Council has revealed.
The shortlist for the new two-form school has been drawn up as parents also gave their backing to increase places at Goldstone, Westdene and Queens Park primary schools by 30 places each from September 2011.
The plans have been drawn up in response to an unprecedented surge the number of school-aged children in the city.
The council says both the possible sites for the new school present their own challenges.
It also estimates the cost of providing a new school as up to £8.5m – not including site acquisition costs – money which would have to be identified from future capital funding allocated to the council.
Under new rules a wholly new school would be subject to a ‘competition’, which would be open to a range of bodies prepared to operate a school including the local authority and faith groups.
Di Smith, Director of Children’s Services, said: “The two shortlisted sites for a new school identified are the most feasible options open to us at present but both pose their own issues and challenges. Despite this we are determined to find solutions so that our children have the best education as close to their homes as possible.”
She added: “The proposals to expand targeted schools and explore the potential to build a new primary school aim to ease the immediate and ongoing need for more primary school places for the city’s children. Over recent years there has been a considerable increase in the number of children growing up in the city.
“The council has consulted with parents over plans to permanently expand three schools. While we have listened to and sympathise with those parents who have concerns, the overall majority of parents support the expansion of local schools as they understand that they increase the chances of local children being able to gain a place at their local school.”
At Westdene Primary School, 70 out of 78 responses to the consultation on a new form were in favour and eight against.
At Goldstone Primary School 58 responses were received to the plans of which 34 were in favour and 24 against.
And out of 33 responses to the proposal to expand Queen’s Park Primary School 19 were in favour with 13 against.
Those against the proposal raised concerns over various issues such as increased traffic, but also cited loss of outside space and the existing school being too small a site to accommodate the increase.
The proposals will be considered by cabinet member for children and young people Councillor Vanessa Brown at the children and young people cabinet member meeting on April 26 at Hove Town Hall.
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