WEST NORFOLK: Report calls for new primary school
A new primary school with more than 400 places is likely to be needed in South Lynn if anticipated housing growth in the area becomes a reality, according to a new report.
A feasibility study is also set to be carried out on the idea of bringing the Fakenham High School and College together on a single site.
Officials have also warned that school provision will need to be kept under review in all of West Norfolk’s principal towns in the years ahead.
The findings emerged in a report to the children’s services overview and scrutiny panel of Norfolk County Council, which met yesterday as the Lynn News went to press.
The number of pupils expected to attend schools in West Norfolk is expected to grow significantly in the coming years because of the anticipated construction of thousands of new homes in local development plans.
The report by the council’s director of children’s services, Lisa Christensen, reveals that 1,600 properties are expected to be built in the King’s Lynn South area, which is described as a “development location where a new school is anticipated.” Officers say a new, 420-place primary school would be needed, while secondary-aged pupils would be accommodated in existing high schools.
Plans for a new primary school to the north of Fakenham are also highlighted in the report, which recommends talks beginning later this year on ways forward.
Concerns have also been raised about the state of buildings on the Fakenham College site, and Ms Christensen said: “We intend to assess the feasibility of bringing the whole 11-18 school together on a single site, which may require land acquisition and will certainly have a capital cost to the County Council.”
The document warns that school provision in the centre of Lynn and the Woottons, as well as Hunstanton, Downham and Swaffham will also need to be kept under review.
The report calls for a plan to be developed to accommodate youngsters who may live on the proposed housing development off Marsh Lane, Gaywood, with a view to expanding schools if necessary.
On Hunstanton, the paper added: “The key strategic decision is whether to proceed with a single-site solution for the current infant and junior school, on the site of the latter” and calls for a funding decision to be made soon.
In Downham, the rate of housing growth is said to be uncertain and will continue to be monitored, while additional pressure on schools in Swaffham is anticipated to be “modest.”
However, the report also warned that West Norfolk would need more additional places for post-16 education than any other part of the county in order to respond to the government’s plan to make young people stay in education until their 18th birthday from 2015.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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