New primary for tots boom
Reporter: Lucy Kenderdine
Date online: 28 March 2014
A NEW primary school could be built on the former Grange School site to cope with Oldham’s booming toddler population.
New research has found that there will be a demand for an additional 140 reception year places in the borough by 2017/18 following several years of rising birth rates and a growing number of families moving into new housing developments in the borough.
Other plans are in the pipeline to cope with the increase include school expansions in Failsworth, Hollinwood and Saddleworth.
Oldham Council’s cabinet meets on Monday to discuss plans to build a new school on the Rochdale Road site as it responds to an unprecedented rise in the number of children needing primary school places.
Projections based on 2008 statistics originally showed that Oldham’s O to four-year-old population would peak at 16,600 in 2012 before remaining stable at 16,400 from 2014 onwards. New estimates now show that population is expected to peak in 2016 with an additional 1,200 children in the age range than the Office of National Statistics originally projected, taking the total to 17,600.
Cabinet will meet to consider the options, which aim to provide a additional 140 to 165 primary school places to address the population boom.
It would take the school provision across the borough from 3,515 places to between 3,655 and 3,680 per year group.
The plans also accommodate a surplus of places between 3 and 3.7 per cent to deal with any fluctuations in the population.
If approved, this would see newly allocated Government Basic Needs grant funding of £10.745 million and the local authority’s own capital allocation of £5.7 million.
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