Plans drawn up for more more Doncaster school places

More school places could be created in Doncaster
More school places could be created in Doncaster

Education bosses are drawing up plans to create new school places to deal with concerns over rising populations in expanding Doncaster villages.

Doncaster Council officials are looking to dip into a £14 million pot, which is money available over the next three years, to help deal with pressure on local schools which is expected to be caused by major housing building projects.

The cash is earmarked after the Doncaster Council cabinet backed an Organisation of Learning Provision Strategy.

Coun Nuala Fennelly, cabinet member for children, young people and schools, said: “The strategy will ensure there is sufficient school places and choice for parents given projected growth in our communities across the borough.

"The Armthorpe, Hall Cross, Hayfield, Rossington and Hungerhill school pyramids are in the first tranche to be reviewed having been identified as areas of greatest need based upon demographic changes and new housing developments.

"A number of options are currently being developed which will be established in consultation with headteachers, governors and other stakeholders to ensure there are enough good places for children in those areas.”

All four schools are in areas which have seen major housebuilding and have a number of high profile housing schemes. Doncaster Council approved major housing schemes in around Armthorpe last month, and Rossington is set to see house building on former colliery land. Hall Cross is set for growth through schemes like the Manor Farm scheme at Besscarr, while Hayfield will see building schemes in the area around the Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

The total Capital Budget for 2017/18 to 2020/21 is £13.6 million including agreed Section 106 contributions - cash which developers including housebuilders are told they must pay as a condition of planning permission being agreed for their schemes.

As yet Government has not released any information regarding capital funding beyond 2020.

The Authority has a number of full primary schools for admission in September 2017 and forecasts through to 2020 indicate significant pressures on infant classes in a number of areas. Previous years’ expansions have helped to stabilise the level of oversubscription particularly in central Doncaster

An official council report stated: "The pressure on primary places is driven by birth rates coupled with migration into the urban area and significant housing development schemes in specific areas of the Borough.

"The principal hotspots continue to be the Urban area, Hayfield, and Armthorpe. Significant new current and future housing developments in Hayfield, Armthorpe, Edenthorpe, Hatfield (DN7), Rossington and Bessacarr present significant pressures.

"The secondary sector also mirrors the national trend as the increase in primary school pupil numbers progresses through the secondary sector."