Council's recommendation to provide additional primary school places in Malvern

Published Wednesday, 8th July 2015

A recommendation is being made to Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet to expand Somers Park Primary School by building the equivalent of a one form entry primary school at Malvern Vale.

These extra places will be provided so that the County Council can meet its statutory responsibility to ensure the provision of sufficient school places.

Following public consultations in November 2014, a report went to Cabinet in February 2015 with recommendations for both short and long term options to address the need for school places in Malvern. It was agreed that expansions could progress for Callow End CE Primary School and Leigh and Bransford Primary School which would provide an additional 18 school places. However, this would still leave a need for 40 school places in the area.

Officers have proposed three options for Cabinet to consider. These are for the local authority to commission a stand-alone 1 form entry primary school on the Malvern Vale site. The process to open a stand-alone school would take a year to complete and cost the local authority just over £4million. The second option is to expand Somers Park Primary School in to a 3 form entry school. This would be done in a way that would keep the current 2 form entry school on the current site and build a new, 1 form entry school building on the Malvern Vale site.

The third option for the Cabinet to consider is for Northleigh Primary School to expand from a 1.5 form entry school to a 2 or 3 form entry school operating on a split site similar to the proposal for Somers Park Primary.

Following consultation with both schools, discussions on potential new housing with the District Council and examining the options against key criteria, the recommendation is to progress the expansion of Somers Park Primary School. This decision is based on the key factors of  Somers Park is an 'outstanding' school rated by Ofsted it has high levels of parental preference and will provide a cost effective option.  Early indications are that the next phase of housing development proposed in the Newlands area of Malvern is closer to Somers Park than Northleigh.

If this recommendation is approved through the Council's Cabinet then the new building would be built by December 2017.

Cllr John Campion, Worcestershire County Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families said: "To meet the need for school places going forward, I am recommending to Cabinet that we expand Somers Park Primary School by building on Malvern Vale.

"Following detailed consultation and research, it can be seen the Somers Park is well respected within the local community and I believe they will deliver outstanding educational outcomes to the children in Malvern within their new school building."