Bath & North East Somerset Council has approved a proposal to expand a local primary school ‘to meet the educational needs of the growing population’.

A statement from BANES explained, ‘Pupil numbers in Radstock are projected to increase in the future due to population growth generated by new housing developments. As a result, more primary school places are projected to be required in order to meet this anticipated future demand.

‘St Nicholas’ C of E Primary School, Radstock, is proposed to expand from its current size of 270 places with a Planned Admission Number (PAN) of 40 pupils starting each year to a school with a PAN of 60 offering a total of 420 places. The first of these additional places are projected to be required in September 2019.

Cllr Michael Evans, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, commented, “This proposal will contribute to delivering the Council’s corporate strategy – which recognises the need to create additional primary school places to meet the demands of a growing population – by seeking to expand popular and high-performing schools that can provide local access to meet pupil growth.”

The Cabinet’s decision follows a statutory process which the Council carried out to propose a change in the number of places that the school should provide – this included consultation and discussions with the school’s governing body.

The decision is separate from the planning process, which will happen subsequently, and will consider issues such as building design and site layout, parking and access and other issues. The subsequent planning applications will be open to further public consultation.

The way in which the school would operate with an increased number of pupils would be something for the Headteacher and Governing Body to decide in due course.

The Cabinet chose to defer the decision in respect of the enlargement of Whitchurch Primary School from 206 to 315 places and delegate this decision to the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services to determine by 15th May as a Single Member Decision – enabling more time to engage with parents at Whitchurch.

The Cabinet chose not to expand Bathwick St Mary until further discussions could be held with the school’s governing body to explore the feasible options for physical expansion of the school.

Further details of all the proposals can be found in the meeting documents via: https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=122&MId=4650