West Sussex County Council has announced plans to expand four schools and build a fifth to cater for the increased number of children in the area.
Two schools in Haywards Heath, one in Crawley and one in Crawley Down have been selected for expansion, and a consultation into the proposals has been launched.
If approved, the following schools will be expanded from September 2016:
Northgate Primary (Crawley) will permanently increase from a two form entry school offering 60 places per year groupto a three form entry school offering 90 places per year group;
Crawley Down Village C of E School will increase from a 1.5 form entry school (45 places) to a two form entry (60 places) per year group;
Harlands Primary (Haywards Heath) will increase from a two form entry (60 places) to three form entry (90 places) per year group;
Northlands Wood Primary (Haywards Heath) will increase from a 1.5 form entry school (45 places) to two form entry (60 places) per year group.
The consultation will also look at plans to build a new one form entry school - Hurst Farm Primary (Haywards Heath) - for September 2019, with the school being expandable to a two form entry (60 places).
A council spokesman said the number of children had been rising across West Sussex for several years and Department for Education projections showed that, by 2023, the number of primary aged pupils would be 9 per cent higher than it was last year.
Councillor Jeremy Hunt, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “The Crawley and Mid Sussex areas are served by a large number of highly-regarded and successful schools.
“The county council has been closely monitoring the number of children in these schools to make sure they can meet the demand for places.
“We have received evidence of further growth in the number of children. This is in part due to an increase in the birth rate and also in response to migration and house building.”
A number of drop-in sessions have been organised for people who would like to discuss the proposals.
• November 10, from 3.15-5.45pm at Harlands Primary School, Penland Road, Haywards Heath RH16 1PJ
• November 12, from 3.30-6pm at Northgate Primary School, Green Lane, Crawley RH10 8DX
• November 16, 3pm-6pm. Crawley Down Village CE School, Hophurst Drive, Crawley Down, RH10 4XA.
The county council is working in partnership with the schools involved to coordinate this consultation exercise on their behalf. The individual governing bodies or, in the case of academies, the academy trusts of each of the existing schools will make the final decision on whether schools expand.
The Secretary of State for Education will appoint the sponsor of any new school.
Mr Hunt added: “We would like to know whether there is support for these proposals. I urge everyone to read the consultation document and write to us with your views. We will pass these to the schools for further consideration. Your opinions are important to the governing bodies and academy trusts and will influence how and where school places are provided.”
Consultation booklets are available from any of the schools involved and local libraries. People can also go to www.westsussex.gov.uk and search for ‘consultation hub’ to respond online.
The closing date for comments is November 30.
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