£500,000 expansion plan to provide more school places across Southampton

Daily Echo: Portswood Primary School will get £150.000 for a new classroom Portswood Primary School will get £150.000 for a new classroom

SIX Southampton schools will undergo major expansion work as part of a £500,000 project.

Southampton City Council has rubberstamped the plans, which will provide more school places across the city.

As previously reported, much of the funding has come from a £14m Government grant and will be used to expand classrooms. All of the new buildings are set to be finished by next September to be ready for the 2015/16 intake of pupils.

Portswood Primary School will receive £150,000 for a new module classroom to help cope with the estimated increase of new pupils from 60 to 90.

Bitterne Manor Primary’s intake will increase from 30 to 60, with a £120,000 grant allowing the music room to be converted into a staff room. That will allow the current staff room to become a pre-school and the pre-school a new classroom.

The library at Mansbridge Primary School will be converted into a classroom thanks to a £50,000 grant that will see its admission capability increase from 30 to 60.

At Bitterne Park Primary School, the £30,000 grant will go towards meeting an increase of new pupils from 90 to 120 through creating a new classroom from the school’s existing rooms.

And Thornhill Primary School will see its admissions rise from 45 to 60 through a £30,000 revamp.

Great Oaks School is also set for expansion, and the secondary school has been given £120,000 to provide two new classrooms.

Meanwhile reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils from across the city will benefit from another Government scheme for free school meals, with council chiefs approving £440,000 spending on the scheme for 2014/15.

Labour education chief Dan Jeffery said: “With the rise in the child population of the city there is a need for us to expand a number of schools, and this budget allocation will go towards trying to ensure that many people can get their first school choice in their area. This is about trying to meet the demand from within the city.”

Speaking at a full council meeting, Tory education spokesman Jeremy Moulton said his party broadly supported the proposals.

Comments (12)

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12:00pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Woolston ollie says...

It was only a few years ago my wife wrote to the Echo after Woolston school had closed saying that we would need more school places not less, the female councillor in charge shot her down saying we didnt. Now we are spending more money to make extra places probably for foreign children. We are mugs
It was only a few years ago my wife wrote to the Echo after Woolston school had closed saying that we would need more school places not less, the female councillor in charge shot her down saying we didnt. Now we are spending more money to make extra places probably for foreign children. We are mugs Woolston ollie
  • Score: 8

12:28pm Tue 10 Jun 14

one in a million says...

Is expanding current facilities really the answer? The larger they get the more impact that they have on the surrounding area particularily in terms of congestion at peak times. Perhaps it would be better to build new schools instead?
Is expanding current facilities really the answer? The larger they get the more impact that they have on the surrounding area particularily in terms of congestion at peak times. Perhaps it would be better to build new schools instead? one in a million
  • Score: 6

1:13pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Quentin Heslop says...

Music and reading obviously low on the educational priorities.
Music and reading obviously low on the educational priorities. Quentin Heslop
  • Score: 5

1:24pm Tue 10 Jun 14

small_voice says...

£120,000 to convert three rooms. Thats £40,000 per room. Somebody has a hefty profit margin. Let the children do it as a project. I expect they could have it all refurbished for less.
£120,000 to convert three rooms. Thats £40,000 per room. Somebody has a hefty profit margin. Let the children do it as a project. I expect they could have it all refurbished for less. small_voice
  • Score: 6

3:27pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Bexybow87 says...

I attended woolston secondary school and left in 2004.. They had a £1.5 million extension added to the school which opened in 2002/2003 and was closed only a few years later!! Firstly what a waste of money and secondly other schools are now having to expand to accommodate the 900 pupils that would have attended. I honestly don't understand why it was ever closed!!
I attended woolston secondary school and left in 2004.. They had a £1.5 million extension added to the school which opened in 2002/2003 and was closed only a few years later!! Firstly what a waste of money and secondly other schools are now having to expand to accommodate the 900 pupils that would have attended. I honestly don't understand why it was ever closed!! Bexybow87
  • Score: 9

3:40pm Tue 10 Jun 14

tootle says...

Just a few years ago SCC was just as drastically downsizing schools because of dramatically falling pupil numbers!!! Now they need that space and more. As to secondary school - shut 2 build 1 with less than the combined capacity really makes sense when the intention was to sell the land for housing(and where were the children going to school?). Keep building/reducing school place numbers doesn't make sense - controlling immigration numbers would help, or should do. Surely mothballing classrooms(within reason) would have made more sense?

What does occur to me is that this money is to accomodate extra children in this years entry. So 1 extra classroom, not 1 extra per entry year?. So presumably by next year pupil numbers will have dropped again or this exercise will need to be repeated.
Just a few years ago SCC was just as drastically downsizing schools because of dramatically falling pupil numbers!!! Now they need that space and more. As to secondary school - shut 2 build 1 with less than the combined capacity really makes sense when the intention was to sell the land for housing(and where were the children going to school?). Keep building/reducing school place numbers doesn't make sense - controlling immigration numbers would help, or should do. Surely mothballing classrooms(within reason) would have made more sense? What does occur to me is that this money is to accomodate extra children in this years entry. So 1 extra classroom, not 1 extra per entry year?. So presumably by next year pupil numbers will have dropped again or this exercise will need to be repeated. tootle
  • Score: 3

6:09pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Leesylou67 says...

I have waited 7 years but I can finally say "I told you so!" I attended many meetings about the closure of Woolston school as my children were pupils there. We were told there was a decline in the population and in the future there would be lots of empty places in schools. I pointed out that there were a lot of new homes being built in Woolston and more school places would be needed, the arrogant councillor shot me down and said the new flats that were being built were for professional couples only who would not have children! What a very ignorant insight he had and Woolston school with its 1.5 million extension still stands empty. Southampton council really needs to get a grip!
I have waited 7 years but I can finally say "I told you so!" I attended many meetings about the closure of Woolston school as my children were pupils there. We were told there was a decline in the population and in the future there would be lots of empty places in schools. I pointed out that there were a lot of new homes being built in Woolston and more school places would be needed, the arrogant councillor shot me down and said the new flats that were being built were for professional couples only who would not have children! What a very ignorant insight he had and Woolston school with its 1.5 million extension still stands empty. Southampton council really needs to get a grip! Leesylou67
  • Score: 4

6:18pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Peters567 says...

Name and shame these councillors!
Name and shame these councillors! Peters567
  • Score: 2

6:47pm Tue 10 Jun 14

Leesylou67 says...

Clive Webster who is now behind this expansion plan!
Clive Webster who is now behind this expansion plan! Leesylou67
  • Score: 2

7:44pm Tue 10 Jun 14

tootle says...

I can do better. Remember St Marks Infants?. Now there's 5 years between me and my brother. When I went to the school plans(according to my Mum) were already afoot for a new school. Unfortunately we more or less rattled in the place so the powers that be cancelled all thought of a new school. Ubfortunately my brother's year and the ones that came after were considerably bigger and the portacabins went up. Eventually decades after the first thought the new Woolston Infants was built. Apparently the same site they were to build a school on was also going to have a nre Woolston library - whooppee, one is going to be built(hopefully) 50 years on.

As to school buildings the biggest waste is Millbrook. Millions spent upgrading it, now closed and a piddling little academy built on public recreation ground at 5 acres. Millbrook school has massive playing fields, even with about a quarter sold for housing. Presumably the rationale was to sell the school and land off for housing and then they found they couldn't. Just imagine where a whole estate of children were going to school - umm, it isn't big enough.
I can do better. Remember St Marks Infants?. Now there's 5 years between me and my brother. When I went to the school plans(according to my Mum) were already afoot for a new school. Unfortunately we more or less rattled in the place so the powers that be cancelled all thought of a new school. Ubfortunately my brother's year and the ones that came after were considerably bigger and the portacabins went up. Eventually decades after the first thought the new Woolston Infants was built. Apparently the same site they were to build a school on was also going to have a nre Woolston library - whooppee, one is going to be built(hopefully) 50 years on. As to school buildings the biggest waste is Millbrook. Millions spent upgrading it, now closed and a piddling little academy built on public recreation ground at 5 acres. Millbrook school has massive playing fields, even with about a quarter sold for housing. Presumably the rationale was to sell the school and land off for housing and then they found they couldn't. Just imagine where a whole estate of children were going to school - umm, it isn't big enough. tootle
  • Score: 0

5:33am Wed 11 Jun 14

Kirsty666 says...

So many schools have to expand now due to population increase I know of several schools that have to make room for extra children St Marks is getting 3 class rooms per year group St Johns has to double in size but has no extra room. That's just two examples.
So many schools have to expand now due to population increase I know of several schools that have to make room for extra children St Marks is getting 3 class rooms per year group St Johns has to double in size but has no extra room. That's just two examples. Kirsty666
  • Score: 0

7:59am Wed 11 Jun 14

kevinchandler100@talktalk.net says...

someone is getting a back hander all the time WOOLSTON SCHOOL STAYS SHUT there was talk of demolishing the school and putting flats/houses on the site. we need schools NOT RABBIT HUTCHES.
someone is getting a back hander all the time WOOLSTON SCHOOL STAYS SHUT there was talk of demolishing the school and putting flats/houses on the site. we need schools NOT RABBIT HUTCHES. kevinchandler100@talktalk.net
  • Score: 2

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