Plans are underway to build a new primary academy in Gainsborough to meet the growing demand for school places.
Under proposals from Lincolnshire County Council the 210 place school would be built on the former Castle Hills secondary school site.
It is expected to open in September 2015 for reception intake only, then grow year on year, and will open as an academy under current legislation.
A report to Patricia Bradwell, executive councillor for children’s services, said: “There is expected to be a shortfall of primary school places in Gainsborough if these additional primary school places are not made available.”
“The £2.11 million capital funding has been received specifically for this project following a bid to the Department for Education and it can only be spent on a new school in Gainsborough.”
It went on to say that the proposal would have ‘minimal effect’ on the numbers on roll at nearby schools as there is ‘expected to be sufficient long term demand for places to sustain all existing schools and academies in addition to the proposed new academy’.
Once the need for a new school has been identified, under the Education Act 2011 there is now an assumption that the new school will be an academy, rather than under Local Authority control.
The process to find an operator for the new academy started back in July, with the council receiving two formal applications by the September deadline .
Those applications were studied by a specialist panel, who decided on Tall Oaks Academy Trust (TOAT) as its preferred operator.
According to the report, TOAT ‘met all of the criteria’ set by the selection panel.
Coun Bradwell said: “We are seeing significant growing demographic pressures in areas of the county like Gainsborough, with increased birth rates.”
“So this is a tremendous boost for education in the county, particularly in areas where sufficiency of places is an ongoing problem.”
“It will ensure we have top quality facilities in pockets of increasing demand and children and young people can access schools close to their homes.”
The details of the council’s preferred operator for the new school will now go to the Department for Education, where the Secretary of State for Education will make the final decision.
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