Teacher pointing at board in a primary school class.

More school places to be created in Lancashire following cabinet approval

Several schemes that will create more primary and secondary school places in Preston and Longridge have been approved by councillors.

In October 2022, Lancashire County Council's cabinet approved the School Place Planning Delivery Programme 2023-25, which sets out a series of projects that aim to provide additional places through existing schools and through the creation of new schools.

Today (Thursday, 8th June ), a series of recommendations relating to various schemes were approved by cabinet.

These included plans to create a 1 form entry expansion at Cottam Primary School from 2023/24, initially through temporary expansion for 2023/24 and becoming permanent from 2024/25.

It is intended that the additional 30 places for 2023/24 can be provided within existing school accommodation with additional provision on the existing school site required to address demand from 2024/25.

Cabinet also approved an amendment to a proposal to establish a new primary school on the former Whittingham Hospital site to address the projected shortfall of places in the Goosnargh and Grimsargh and Longridge primary planning areas.

Over time, the school would provide up to 420 places, which would accommodate rising pupil numbers as a result of housing development in the area and an increase in the birth rate. It is proposed that the new school would operate as a 'free school' and would open in September 2025.

An informal consultation will run from Monday, 12th June 2023 until 5pm on Sunday, 9th July 2023. A formal consultation is expected later in the year.

Elsewhere, an expansion proposal to increase the published admission number of St Cecilia's Roman Catholic High School in Longridge by 23 places per year from 2023/24 has been agreed by St Cecilia's Roman Catholic High School, the Diocese of Salford and Lancashire County Council.

The capital project will provide an additional four classrooms block and external play area. The project will be delivered through the Diocese of Salford in accordance with the terms and conditions of a grant agreement between Lancashire County Council, The Governing Body of St Cecilia's Roman Catholic High School and Salford Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees.

In line with Department for Education guidance, a public consultation is not required for this proposed development due to its scale.

County Councillor Jayne Rear 1 (2)

County Councillor Jayne Rear, cabinet member for education and skills at Lancashire County Council

County Councillor Jayne Rear, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for education and skills, said: "As a local authority we have statutory duty to ensure there are enough high-quality school places available to meet demand.

"The actions taken by our cabinet will ensure that we will meet this statutory duty and deliver additional school places in areas where we know need them most.

"Thank you to everyone who responded to our public consultation regarding plans to expand Cottam Primary School.

"Taking the responses into consideration, we will now move forward with these plans.

"Providing additional school places will always need to be carefully managed to mitigate the overall impact and residents can be assured this will be the case for all of our planned schemes."

You can read the cabinet report in full here.