Pressure mounting for new primary school in Ely
16:52 22 July 2014
Pressure is so great for primary places in Ely that a new school could be built and completed, years before it was planned, to cope with demand.
The news comes at the same time as planning officers wrangle with developers over “ways to maximise the level of contribution” by 106 agreements to help fund the building.
Isle of Ely Primary is set to take children from two new housing estates yet to be built north of the city - Highflyer Farm and Endurance Estates.
The school was going to be built in two phases - but according to a report it now needs to be built in one hit to cope with the rising demand from families for school places.
In a report due to go towards the Cambridgeshire County Council Children and Young People’s Committee, Executive Director Adrian Loades said: “The only option for providing the number of places required in Ely is by the opening of the Isle of Ely Primary in September 2014.
“The forecast pupil roll of September 2015 will require the permanent school buildings on the Endurance Estates site to be available for occupation by this date.
“There are risks involved in the opening of a new school ahead of the housing development coming forward, but these are mitigated, wherever possible, through the option to purchase the land and the proposed cost recovery agreements.
“There is an over riding need for the council to meet its statutory duty to provide school places.”
In the report it is hoped to build a 630 place school in a single phase at a cost of £15.2m.
Previously phase one of the school was set to be built by 2016 with the second phase completed by 2020.
However, to meet rising school place pressure it is being suggested that the new primary school should open in September 2014 in temporary accommodation on the site of St Mary’s Voluntary Aided Church of England Junior School.
It will relocate to the permanent accommodation being provided on the Endurance Estates site in September 2015.
The new school will be sponsored by the Active Learning Trust - the same trust which runs Neale Wade Academy in March.