By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter
Two schools in Nottingham will benefit from extra facilities to cope with the rising number of pupils needing school places across the city.
Nottingham City Council has proposed to hand thousands of pounds to Bluecoat Aspley Academy and Whitemoor Primary Academy.
This is part of a Section 106 agreement – money handed to the council by developers for community facilities following the approval of a planning application.
A delegated decision on June 24 – which means it took place outside of a council meeting – says £45,000 of funding will be given to Bluecoat Aspley Academy to support the provision of additional secondary school places.
This includes creating two outdoor dining pods and a covered canopy to accommodate all students being fed during lunch and break time.
The council will also be allocating £10,865 of the S106 funding to contribute to the development of a Key Stage 2 classroom for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities at Whitemoor Primary Academy.
The council has outlined its vision for the two schools as part of the delegated decision.
For Bluecoat Aspley Academy, the council says: “The dining hall accommodates 180 pupils per sitting, and the school currently have to operate split lunches to accommodate the increase in pupil numbers, which is creating a challenging impact across the site.
“With this improvement to dining facility options, all pupils will now benefit from being able to access more eating options across the site.
“This will also allow the school to consider moving to a single lunch sitting and therefore reduce disruption to lessons during the day.
“The project will support Bluecoat Aspley Academy’s increased pupil growth and will enable the school to admit additional pupils over their normal PAN (Pupil Admission Number) this September 2022.
“This additional capacity has been negotiated with the council’s education department, to support our statutory duty to deliver sufficient secondary school places.
“There continues to be significant growth in demand for places in most areas of the city and Bluecoat Aspley Academy are full, they are admitting pupils in excess of their PAN and are significantly oversubscribed.
“They need to ensure the facilities are suitable to support the growth in pupil numbers. The school will appoint a contractor to deliver the scheme.”
For Whitemoor Primary Academy, the council added: “Development of a classroom, sensory space, and disabled WC to accommodate a number of children with complex SEND ( special educational needs or disability) moving from Key Stage 1 to Key Stage 2 within the school.
“It will ensure that there is suitable provision as the young people progress through the school. The S106 funding will be a contribution to these works, which are currently being assessed and costed.
“Whitemoor Academy is an inclusive primary school with a positive approach to including pupils with complex SEND in all aspects of school life.
“However, the school building is old and of difficult design, but school staff have worked with these challenges to ensure that children and young people with SEND have a good educational experience.
“Due to the number of catchment children with complex SEND, staff at Whitemoor developed a specialist SEND space in Key Stage 1 to enable them to meet the needs of this group of children.
“A number of these children will be moving to Key Stage 2 in September 2022 and will need to be able to access provision in the Key Stage 2 area of the school.
“Additionally, the school are seeing high numbers of young people with complex needs in the Foundation Stage who will soon require access to the Key Stage 1 provision. The current provision in Key Stage 1 is too small to accommodate this wider cohort of children with SEND.”