Primary schools facing increased pressure on places

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Sheffield’s baby boom is set to continue for the forseeable future – putting pressure on primary schools which are already mostly full.

The warning came from Coun Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for children, young people and families, at a meeting of leading councillors.

She said: “The evidence is that the current changes in birth rate won’t stop here - they will continue and we will need more places and potentially more schools.”

Sheffield has added more than 2,500 places to primary schools over the last five years, and plans have already been approved for a further 1,000.

Councillors approved a consultation process which could mean extra places added in suburbs such as Wybourn, Firth Park, Crosspool and Greystones.

Also on the agenda is a new primary school in Tinsley, to replace the existing infant and junior schools and to be built away from the M1.

Coun Drayton said the increase in the birth rate was something that was now being seen across the city, and was in line with national trends.

She said: “Where we can we will expand existing schools but it will be necessary to build new schools too.”

The next expansion programme is intended to ensure there are enough school places for the start of the 2014-15 academic year – with about 6,600 set to enter the primary system.

Current pressures have resulted in children sent to schools outside their neighbourhood and brothers and sisters sent to different primary schools.