How will your community be affected by 15-year plan to provide school places for Norfolk’s surging population?

New developments like Queens Hills in Costessey have prompted a blueprint to provide thousands of ne

New developments like Queens Hills in Costessey have prompted a blueprint to provide thousands of new schools places. Photo: Mike Page

A blueprint for a host of new schools over the next 15 years to cope with Norfolk's surging population has been unveiled.

Queens Hill Primary School, which has been given planning permission to expand.

Queens Hill Primary School, which has been given planning permission to expand. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009

Norfolk County Council believes it needs 7,793 and 2,180 new places in primary and secondary schools respectively, because of thousands of new homes and the rising birth rate.

The Local Growth and Investment Plan was first drawn up in 2013, and the updated version, which includes details on when and where new schools will be needed, or existing schools expanded, will be debated on Tuesday.

Click here to read the report, which starts on page 31 of the agenda.

It identifies four 'major strategic locations requiring a multiple new school solution' – Sprowston/Old Catton/Rackheath, Thetford, Wymondham, and Attleborough – and dozens of other communities where new places are likely to be needed.

Councillor James Joyce said the committee would write to all social care staff stressing the importa

Councillor James Joyce said the committee would write to all social care staff stressing the importance of the promise. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

Risks identified in the report include attracting 'outstanding academy providers' to run new schools, and the timely delivery of places because of the need to identify and sometimes buy new sites.


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The council is solely responsible for funding the new places, but said it was providing well-evidenced information to the Education Funding Agency to maximise its funding, and was working closely with district and borough councils to ensure developers contributed money and land for schools.

James Joyce, chairman of the council's children's services committee, said: 'With good forward planning and by working in partnership with academy providers, the dioceses and schools, we are confident that we can provide places in appropriate schools as and when the demand is needed.'

The report comes as the expansion of two primary schools – Queens Hill Primary in Costessey, and St Martha's Catholic Primary in King's Lynn – was yesterday granted planning permission.

Last month, Suffolk County Council's Education and Learning Infrastructure Plan identified a possible need for 20 new primary schools, three new secondary schools and 25 school expansions over 15-20 years, including new primary schools in Brandon and north Lowestoft.

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Breckland

? Thetford – expansion of two primary schools by 2016 funded. New primaries needed in 2017, 2019 and 2021; Thetford Academy to be expanded.

? Attleborough – new primary school by 2018 funded. Up to two extra primary schools from 2017.

? Dereham – numbers across town to be reviewed, including both high schools and the sixth form.

? Swaffham, Watton, Swanton Morley also affected.

Norwich

? Norwich – 'continued pressure on places in Norwich'.

Expansion of Bignold, Henderson Green and Heartsease primaries from 2015 onwards funded. Site for new primary at Garden Street safeguarded. Inspiration Trust proposed new primary free school.

? Bowthorpe – 1,000 home development approved, with developer contributing to expanding primary and high school provision.

South Norfolk

? Wymondham – expansion of Wymondham High, reorganisation of three schools, new primary in 2017 funded. Further expansion of Wymondham High after 2016.

? Cringleford – new primary school for 2019, funded by developer contribution.

? Hethersett – new primary in 2017. Expansion of Hethersett High Academy.

? Trowse, Long Stratton, Costessey, Poringland, Mulbarton, Easton, Diss, Harleston also affected.

Broadland

? Sprowston/Old Catton/Rackheath – one primary in 2017 funded. New primaries in 2018, 2020; new high school in 2021.

? Fakenham – possible new primary in 2019.

? Hellesdon – new primary school.

? Aylsham – 300 new homes may lead to schools expanding.

? Coltishall – possible new school if RAF Coltishall site developed

? Reepham, Blofield could be affected.

West Norfolk

? West Winch/North Runcton – two primary schools in 2020.

? Downham Market – supply of new housing 'uncertain', will be monitored. High school 'will be able to cater for all anticipated numbers on its existing sites'.

? Hunstanton – transfer of infant school to junior school site in planning stage and funded.

? King's Lynn – possible new school in the Lynnsport development.

Great Yarmouth

? Bradwell – Outline planning permission for 1,000 homes approved, but negotiations with developer unsuccessful in securing full cost of a complete new primary school needed in 2018, but land given free of charge if needed.

? Great Yarmouth – schools in the town being reorganised, taking effect from September 2015. Accommodation requirements for the first three years of the plan already met, but 'beyond that further suitability improvements will require additional allocations'.

North Norfolk

? Briston/Melton Constable – proposals for expansion of Astley Primary to 270 places, potential for further expansion to 315.

? Cromer – proposal for permanent accommodation for three forms of entry at infant school, review capacity of junior school.

? Holt – probable need to expand primary school.

? Hoveton – options to expand Broadland High being examined.

? North Walsham – junior school being expanded; further work at infant school 'planned but not funded'.

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