County Hall Preston

Councillors take action to boost primary and secondary school places in Preston

Many schemes aimed at addressing the projected shortfall of primary and secondary school places in the Preston area have been approved by councillors.

In October 2022, Lancashire County Council's cabinet approved the School Place Planning Programme 2023-25, which set s out a series of projects to provide additional primary and secondary school places where projected shortfalls have been identified.

The programme proposed that the additional places should be provided through the expansion of existing schools and the establishment of new schools. Today  (Thursday, April 6), cabinet approved recommendations relating to several proposed schemes in the Preston and Ribble Valley areas.

This included works to create 25 temporary places for September 2023 at Broughton-in-Amounderness Church of England Primary School. Councillors also approved the capital allocation required for early works at Cottam Primary School to enable 30 temporary places for September 2023. A public consultation on proposals to permanently expand the school to 2 forms of entry from 2024 is currently underway.

In addition, the cabinet approved a capital allocation to enable the demolition of the former Tulketh High School buildings.

The county council has consulted on the future of the site and continue to consider responses during this process.

In the meantime, the county council will continue with preparations at the Tulketh site. Should a decision be made to no longer use the site for a brand new school, the expenditure to enable demolition work, would not be wasted as it would contribute positively towards the disposal of the site.

Julie Bell, Lancashire County Council's Director of education, culture and skills, said: "The proposed programme of works will ensure that we meet our statutory duty to ensure there are enough high-quality school places available to meet demand.

"The actions taken by our cabinet this week mean we can appropriately progress the planned works and ensure the additional school places are delivered in time to meet demand.

"Some of these works are subject to further cabinet approval and would encourage residents to share their views through our public consultations."

Councillors have also approved additional funds for two approved projects in Ribble Valley to meet increased inflationary costs. The two projects will see the creation of 241 additional places at Colne Primet Academy and 141 additional places at St. Augustine's Roman Catholic High School.