Children to be taught in temporary classrooms at ‘significantly oversubscribed’ Nottingham school

Bluecoat Wollaton Academy (Google)
Bluecoat Wollaton Academy (Google)
By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter

Children are to be taught in temporary classrooms being put up at a secondary school in Nottingham which has run out of space to cope with demand.

Nottingham City Council says the classrooms are needed at Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, and they will be in place for a two year period from September this year to September 2026.

The school will enrol more pupils this year than in 2023 and the temporary mobile classrooms are needed to meet the growth in pupil numbers.

According to the council, the school, on Sutton Passeys Crescent in Wollaton, is “significantly oversubscribed”.

The temporary structures will allow the school to take on an extra 300 pupils.

The Labour-run authority says it has been working to invest in schools since 2017, including school expansions.

A new 1,200-place school, the Bluecoat Trent Academy, opened on a temporary site in September 2021 and will move to a new build on a permanent site in September 2024.

“There is still, however, challenges with capacity to meet the needs of the city’s population and significant place pressure is currently set to continue up to 2029,” council delegated decision documents say.

“While we have anticipated this increase in demand, the actual pupil numbers have been even higher due to increased inward migration to the city, which has added to the pressure across all year groups.

“Councils have no powers to direct academies to expand. All secondary schools within Nottingham city are academies which can be a constraint when deciding on the location and types of accommodation to be provided.

“A key priority is working in partnership with all providers to deliver the required capacity that best meets our educational priorities.

“The north, central and west areas are the most challenging in terms of capacity shortfall.

“We have engaged all trusts and secondary academies across the city to reiterate the pressures and urge that they work with us to meet our statutory sufficiency duty and to avoid children being without a place.”

In total the temporary classrooms will cost £685,000, with money coming from an academy trust and Section 106 funding.

Councils typically grant planning permission to developers on the proviso they contribute financially, under a Section 106 agreement, to affordable housing, local education, employment and infrastructure opportunities in a bid to reduce the impact of a scheme.

In February, £242,022 in Section 106 money was allocated for the scheme and a further £362,978 has been approved as of June.

A further £80,000 will come from the Archway Learning Trust.

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