Warwickshire secondary schools to go over capacity to meet rising demand - The Rugby Observer

Warwickshire secondary schools to go over capacity to meet rising demand

Rugby Editorial 12th Nov, 2023   0

SECONDARY schools in Warwickshire will be required to take ‘a small number’ of pupils over capacity to meet increasing demand over the next six years, according to plans laid out by the County Council.

Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Cabinet has endorsed a new Education Sufficiency Update, which outlines pressures on school places and the impact of new housing.

The update said secondary schools would have to go over capacity ‘in most year groups and in most areas’ to meet a predicted seven per cent increase in total pupils between 2023-29, ‘partly due to the impact of new housing developments bringing in new families’.

The report stated rising demand for children up to four years old would be met by new school developments, developer funding for expansions, collaborations with schools to develop or expand early years services, and a recruitment campaign to increase childminder capacity.

From the age group of 4-16 years, seven new schools and a number of expansion projects would create the extra 15,000 places which were forecast to be needed over the next 15 years.

This is despite an additional 20,000 places having been created over the last 15 years by the opening of 11 new schools since 2010, along with several permanent expansions.

The report added there were sufficient places in post-16 education for the next two years – and WCC would work with schools and colleges where demand was set to grow.

Demand was reported to be increasing for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), with the number of pupils with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) rising by an average of nine per cent each year for five years.

Rising SEND demand was said to be lower in primary schools, and could be met largely by Specialist Resource Provision (SRP) at schools. Increasing demand at secondary schools would be met by SRP and expansion of provision at special schools. An ongoing review would lead to further recommendations.

WCC education spokeswoman Coun Kam Kaur said: “With its economy having expanded and more people seeking to live and work in Warwickshire, it is inevitable that there will be added pressure on schools and other settings to provide sufficient places.

“It was good to see the update having plans in place so that we can meet that commitment now and into the future.”

Visit https://tinyurl.com/36auvnwd to read the full report.

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