No school places created in Barnsley despite construction of hundreds of new homes

No new school places have been created in Barnsley despite more than 1,200 new homes being build in the last two years.

Tuesday, 12th January 2021, 4:45 pm

Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request made by the local democracy reporting service, show that 1,240 new homes have been built in the borough since the local plan was adopted in January 2019, but no school places have been created.

The 335 page document allocates land for 28,840 jobs, 21,546 new homes, and plans for a “vibrant and attractive town centre”.

Although the plan said that primary school places are an essential facility, and a number of new primary schools are proposed within the plan, it does not say how many places will be created.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Barnsley Council has created no new school places despite hundreds of new homes being built in the town

It states: “We have worked closely with colleagues in education to look at the impact that development proposed in the local plan will have on the capacity of schools across the borough.

“This work has indicated pressures in the capacity of primary schools, particularly in Barnsley Town Centre, Wombwell and North East areas of the borough.”

Councillor Margaret Bruff, Barnsley council’s cabinet spokesman for children’s service told the local democracy reporting service that the council reviews the number of school places regularly, and that some schools have “expanded” to create more places over the last few years.

Coun Bruff said: “We’re responsible for making sure that we have enough school places in the borough to meet the educational needs of children who live in our area.

"We regularly review the number of school places we already have, and what we will require in the future. We’re working closely with schools across the borough to ensure we can meet future demand, considering any housing developments and over the years some current schools have expanded in order to create more places.”

“We are proposing to establish a new primary school in Barugh Green and Higham, and as part of the process, we are carrying out a consultation.

“The Local Plan also identifies a site for an additional primary school in Wombwell and land to extend Carlton Primary School.

“The Hoyland South Masterplan earmarks council-owned land for delivery of an additional primary school in Hoyland.

"We are therefore well placed to meet future need for primary school places as and when we have a shortfall in places as a result of anticipated population growth”.

“In terms of secondary provision, we have recently increased capacity at Penistone ALC and we have just received a planning application for a temporary free school at land off Broadway to meet identified need for additional secondary school places across the central area of the borough.”

READ MORE:

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.