New £4m primary at Bemrose site in Derby will create city's first school for 3 to 18-year-olds
A PRIMARY school is to be built in the grounds of a city secondary school, giving Derby its first-ever mainstream school for ages three to 18.
The expansion at Bemrose School, in Uttoxeter New Road, will create 315 primary and 26 nursery places, which are needed urgently in the city.
The city council will use £4 million to build the school, to be in use by September 2014. It will mean pupils will be able to remain at the same school throughout their academic years.
The project is part of the council's drive to create more reception places as increased numbers of immigrants arrive in the city.
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Andrew Bunyan, city council strategic director for children and young people, said: "Projected figures indicate that if we make plans to create these extra spaces now, then we may not have to increase them again for at least four years.
"The exciting Bemrose project will also provide places in an area of the city where they are needed. The school has large grounds and it makes sense to link the primary and secondary schools in this way."
The council has £12 million of capital funding for building, half of which will come from the Government, and the other half from the authority's own corporate building programme.
It is also proposing to create another 343 extra spaces in several schools, with some of them needing to have temporary accommodation, costing £3 million, in time for the start of this September.
And an extra 24 places are to be made available at St Giles' Special School, in Hampshire Road.
Temporary expansions will take place at 18 primary schools from September. These are Allenton, Ash Croft, Ashgate, Borrow Wood, Chaddesden Park, Cherry Tree Hill, Derwent, Lawn, Meadow Farm, Mickleover, Osmaston, Redwood, Reigate, Village and Wyndham, and also at Brackensdale, Breadsall Hill Top and Portway infant schools.
The money will also be used to fund the phase-two building project at Littleover Community School, costing £2.5 million and providing ten classrooms. Phase one, costing £1.5 million, is already under way at the site.
A further £2 million will be used to redevelop and rebuild Moorfields Children's Home in Sinfin.
Councillor Martin Rawson, city council cabinet member for children and young people, said: "I have wanted to ensure that the city's children's homes are modernised, and this is a good start."
The funding will also be used to improve the space on the playground at Firs Estate Primary School, costing £70,000, so that the admission limit can be increased from 45 to 60 pupils.
And another £120,000 will pay for two extra classrooms at Markeaton Primary School to allow the same increased admission figure.
Mr Rawson added: "The shortage of places is a bigger issue than it has been for many years and we are finding ways of trying to manage it as best we can."
A consultation on changes to the age range at Bemrose School will begin on March 22 and last until May 3.
The city council cabinet is expected to approve the funding proposals at its meeting on Wednesday, March 20.