The Committee considered a report of the Director of Children’s Services which presented information on the School Place Planning from 2017 to 2027 for secondary places. The Township Committee was advised that in recent years there had been a continuing increase in the number of children born across the Borough, and who in turn will need Secondary School places. Data presented in the report at Borough and Township level showed there were different demand pressures in each of the Borough’s four Township areas.
The Committee was informed that the report was being submitted to the four Township Committees for consultative purposes and any views thereon expressed by Members would be considered by the Cabinet at its meeting on 19th December 2017.
The Committee were advised that 8% more children attend the Primary Schools than Secondary Schools in the Rochdale and Pennines region with more pupils commuting out of the area. Current forecasts have suggested that a deficit of places for September 2019 will exist with this demand peaking in 2021 and then 2024. A Free School will be needed by 2022, but extra capacity is needed for 2019. A Free School bid was currently being put together by Hopwood Hall College, supported by the Altus Trust which was the Multi Academy Trust set up by Rochdale Sixth Form College, with the aim of being submitted in March/April 2018. It was reported that without this new school in the area the pupils currently attending primary schools may be without secondary places to go to.
Alternatives considered: To not increase places available could leave the Council at risk of not meeting statutory responsibilities in education provision.
Decision: That the Township Committee supports the proposals to:
a) Provide additional places at Matthew Moss from 2018.
b) Establish a new 180 place Free School in the Rochdale area by 2022.
c) Provide a further report identifying the need for additional building at existing schools to address the shortfall in extra spaces.
Reason for decision: To enable Townships awareness of school spaces and pupil numbers within their area and to aid local decision making.
Eligible for Call-in: No.