Consultations underway over Worthing schools’ expansion

TWO public consultations are underway for parents, staff and governors to have their say on proposals to expand two Worthing first schools.

Demand for primary schooling has been growing and schools are no longer large enough to cater for the rising number of children. Peter Proudley, West Sussex County Council’s capital planning manager, has sent a letter to anyone connected to Bramber First School in Worthing and Elm Grove First School in West Worthing.

In the letter, he said: “The county council has been closely monitoring the number of children in schools in the Worthing locality to make sure they can meet the demand for places. We have evidence the number of children who will need a primary school place in the Worthing area is increasing.”

As a result, the council wishes to expand Bramber First School, in Bramber Road, and Elm Grove First School, in Elm Grove, and wants views on the proposals.

Bramber First School currently has a reception year intake of 45. The proposal is to expand it to take 60 pupils in two classes. The school building will need to be extended with the construction of two additional class bases, resulting in 240 school places in total.

Elm Grove First School has a reception year intake of 60 across two classes, and the proposal is to expand to an intake of 75.

The school building needs to be extended with the construction of two new class bases, making a total intake of 300 places.

The county council said the head teacher and governors at both schools support the proposed increases.

Building work at both sites is expected to start this summer with a view to increasing pupil numbers from September, 2013.

The cost of the work is estimated to be £1.7m for both projects.

A full, statutory public consultation is required where the increase is more than 30 pupil places and more than 25 per cent of the school capacity.

The public consultation will take place over four weeks and then Peter Griffiths, cabinet member for education and schools, will decide whether to publish statutory notices, then objections can be raised for a further four weeks.

Parents, staff and governors are asked to submit their views by April 23.