‘Pause’ in Sheffield school expansion project

Nick Clegg
Nick Clegg
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Council chiefs have ‘paused’ a controversial consultation into the expansion of a Sheffield school.

Dobcroft Infant School, in Millhouses, is being temporarily extended with an extra foundation class of 30 pupils from September.

A consultation was held into whether the measure should become permanent at both the infant and junior schools, but concerns were raised by governors who said four new classrooms would be needed as part of the ‘minimum requirement.’

Proposals to keep mobile classrooms and extend a community hub for the same use would have put ‘unacceptable pressure on the learning environment’.

Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg said parents were concerned that permanent expansion from 90 to 120 pupils a year would lead to ‘overcrowding’.

Now a letter from Sheffield Council states ‘after careful consideration of the many consultation responses we are now proposing a pause in the formal process’ to explore all options for creating extra places.

Planning officers will recommend the council cabinet pauses the current process at its meeting on March 18.

The additional infants class this September will go ahead but if the council was to formally propose expansion, there would need to be a further four week consultation.

Mr Clegg said: “I am pleased the council listened to my concerns, as well as those of hundreds of parents and residents and decided to pause the process.

“Parents and children in south west Sheffield need a long term solution to school places, rather than short term patchwork fixes. I hope this means the council will look seriously at delivering the long term solution parents and children both need and deserve.”

Cathy Rowland, Dobcroft headteacher, added: “I am pleased the council has listened to people during the consultation and is now having a pause to allow the best solution to be put in place.”

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