The Star Says: Summer is vital time for Sheffield’s education

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It may be the opening week of the long summer school holiday but education is still very much at the forefront of Sheffield decision-makers’ minds.

Consultation on building two new schools in Sheffield to cope with demand will begin after a report was agreed.

A 750-place school is being proposed on the site of the former Pye Bank school on Woodside, Burngreave, while a 1,200-place school is being planned for the Holt House area for 2018.

Sheffield Council’s cabinet agreed a report on an ‘ambitious’ £50 million programme to meet demand for extra school capacity.

Consultation will also now begin on proposals to create an extra 60 secondary school places across the city and another 210 primary places.

The plans came about after the controversy surrounding places at Dobcroft school in Millhouses.

Credit must be given to councillors who have gone back to the drawing board after parents raised concerns about the original proposals.

The consultation will run over the summer holidays and a report will be brought back to cabinet in September on the results – when a decision could be made to press on with the schemes.

The outcome could be significant because if the plans do go ahead, an additional 60 secondary places will be created by 2017 at Hinde House Secondary in Wincobank, Firth Park Academy, Shirecliffee’s Parkwood Academy and Fir Vale School.

In the south-west of the city, a further 60 places could be created at Silverdale School, Bents Green, by 2017, while temporary places at Silverdale and Newfield Secondary School, in Norton Lees, would make a further 90 places for 2016-17.

Another 210 primary school places also need to be created, either through expanding existing schools or creating a new school.

These are big changes and begs the question of whether the current situation for education in Sheffield is adequate.

Children may feel they are at school forever but in reality it is a relatively short period in anyone’s life.

Any year students don’t get the best possible education is a waste and leaves them behind their contemporaries.

It is vital that the correct decisions are made and thought is also given to the next stage so that schools can be built in good time to cope with future demand.