Millions invested to create school places in Mansfield and Ashfield

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Millions of pounds are to be pumped into local education with hundreds of extra school places created across the region.

To help cope with demand arising from the natural increase in the area’s birth rates, more than £36.7m will be received between 2015 and 2017 from the Department For Education.

For the 2015/16 academic year, it is expected that £16.7m will be ploughed into places, with a further £17.5 the following year.

It comes after £7.66m is already been spent this year on creating hundreds of places for youngsters at schools including Mansfield’s St Peter’s Primary, King Edward Primary, Berry Hill Primary, Sutton Road Primary, Rosebrook Primary, as well as Sutton’s Croft 
Primary and Dalestorth Primary.

Expansion projects are now planned for further schools in our region, including Newstead Primary, Forest Town Primary and Kirkby Woodhouse Primary.

Sara Williams, the Nottinghamshire County Council’s capital investment officer said: “These allocations reflect very positively on our efforts in preparing the annual school capacity and places data return this year.

“We introduced a number of changes to the way we present the county-wide data in order to show more clearly the various ‘hotspots’ around the county where there is particular pressure on places and this has resulted in capital allocations that will allow us to maintain the level of investment in our school places programme over the coming years.

“Later this month, as soon as we have them, we will start analysing the next pupil projections data which will allow us to more accurately assess where additional places will be needed from September 2015 onwards.

“We cannot base where places are required from the very high level county-wide totals, so we continually examine very carefully how trends develop in local areas.

“From this, we can identify quite specifically which schools need to be expanded in order to meet demand in the localities that have greatest pressure on places.”

Education secretary Michael Gove announced a £2.85 billion pot of Government funding to alleviate pressure for places across Britain.

Between Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottingham City Council, more than £50m will be spent altogether and create upwards of 5,500 places in total.

St Peter’s Church of England Primary School in Mansfield is one set to benefit from the education windfall with 105 new pupil places created.

Money has been invested into four new classrooms on the Bellamy Road site to cope with the potential influx of pupils in the coming years.

Headteacher Pearl Day is hoping the classrooms will be ready in the coming months.

Once completed, it could potentially raise the number of pupils at the school by a third.

She said: “It will be gradual, year on year but we could have over 300 pupils at the school.

“We could see by the amount of children coming through, especially nursery places, that there was a need for more classes so it’s good news for the community.”