Hundreds of new school places created in Staffordshire

County council bosses in Staffordshire say nearly 94% of youngsters got into their first choice primary school, because they are creating more spaces.

Over the past five years, the authority has added nearly 8,000 primary and secondary school places, at a cost of £61 million.

Out of 9,052 applications for a school place in the county, 8,497 parents have been allocated their first choice primary school.  Nearly 99 per cent have been allocated one of their top three preferred places.

Demand for school places has risen nationally due to rising birth rates and new housing developments. 

The county council is looking to add more places to ensure parents still have a choice where to send their child.

Another 7,900 primary and secondary school places are set to be created within the next five years, at an estimated cost of £151 million. 

This will be a combination of building brand new schools, and working with head teachers and governors on expanding existing schools where possible.

Funding for these schools will be met by the county council, developer contributions, and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

County Councillor Philip White, Cabinet Support Member for Learning and Employability, said: “Over the past four years, we have been looking at projected rises in pupil numbers over the next 15 years and formed a comprehensive county-wide plan to ensure there are enough primary and secondary school places available across the county.

“By mapping where new housing developments are, as well as where the birth rate is increasing, we can confidently predict were the demand will be and put measures in place to ensure we can meet it.

“Due to our forecasting and extensive planning, we are confident in Staffordshire that we can provide the primary secondary school places needed over the next few years.”

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