Agenda item

The Need for Extra Year 7 School Places 2017- 2027

To consider the requirements for additional Year 7 School places across the Borough between 2017/2027.


Cabinet considered a report of the Director of Children’s Services which set out proposals, following a consultation process, to address the need for extra Year 7 places from 2017 – 2027.


Alternatives considered:


The case was clear for the need for two extra secondary schools. Given the limited options the acceptance of a local trust was considered to be the preferred choice. Extra capacity was needed for 2019 and 2023/24 and would also be needed in the intervening years to enable in-year moves. Current spare capacity had been 4-6 FE across the Borough and even with the spare local capacity, pressures have still been felt. Above the extra two schools all secondary schools would need to be approached to provide extra capacity.




1.    That approval be given to the following proposals, noting that the timing of the proposals is subject to detailed feasibility:-


a)    Heywood Township and Middleton Township

·         An additional 30 places at Siddal Moor Sports College in existing accommodation with a temporary PAN from 210 to 240 for one year in September 2018;


·         The permanent increase of Siddal Moor Sports College PAN from 210 to 270 from September 2019;


·         Support be given to the application of the Altus Education Partnership, in collaboration with Rochdale Sixth Form College and Hopwood Hall College, for a new Free School in Middleton Township for 2020, noting that DfE now require that any bid submitted by a trust include a named site. This will necessitate the authority to name the site prior to the bid going ahead to facilitate the creation of the needed pupil places.


b)    Pennines Township and Rochdale Township

·         The permanent increase of Matthew Moss High School to a PAN of 240 from September 2018 as previously detailed in Cabinet report dated 31st October 2016;

·         The potential gap in provision for 2019-20 be noted;

·         The need for a second new Free School in 2022 and for the DfE requirement that a site will need to be named be noted;


2.    That feasibility studies which will facilitate completion of detailed designs and submission of planning applications be approved;


3.    That expenditure on the proposed final programmes detailed within the report, for invitations to tender to be issued and accepted and for the supporting contracts and any incidental and ancillary documentation, to be signed in order to deliver the development schemes outlined in the appendices, in accordance with financial regulations be approved.


4.    That the Additional Basic Need Programme spend estimated at £5,400,000 as set out in Section 5.1 of the report be approved.


Reason for decision:


The Borough has seen consistent growth in the Primary school cohorts. In 2005 Reception numbers were 2450 and this year were predicted to be 3100. This was a 650 increase in Reception numbers. Secondary cohort sizes started to increase in 2012 and were expected to mirror and exceed the Primary increases until 2024. Secondary cohorts started at a low of 2200 pupil and were expected to increase to 3300, which was an increase of 1100. The disparity in increases in cohort sizes in Reception and Year 7 was due to both, the recent increases in cohort size that have occurred throughout the Primary years (55%), and the forecasted increase in housing builds (45%).

Supporting documents: