Published on Monday, 11th July 2016

 

The surge in school roles that has seen reception year enrollment rise from 2123 in September 2010 to an estimated 2331 this year is now hitting the city's secondary schools. Year 7 enrolment was 1685 in 2010/11 and was actually lower in 2014/15 at 1632. However, it is forecast to reach 1956 by 2018/19 before growing at a slower rate over the years beyond that.

 

Expanding schools is an expensive business, but it will have to happen. The council put aside money to reconfigure existing space in a number of schools this year and also set aside a further £1.8m for new build schemes that have yet to be worked up. One of the schools that was expected to grow was Miltoncross, where it was hoped to create a hundred or so extra spaces by converting some non-classroom areas into additional classrooms. That now looks like it won't be feasible and the spaces will need to be made up elsewhere in the city.

 

 

This part of Portsmouth is at a particular disadvantage with Priory having no room to expand and Charter needing the limited available room on its site for its sixth form. There may have to be changes to catchment areas to cope and there is a long-term plan under consideration to increase the size of the City of Portsmouth Girls' Academy. Governors at that school have decided it should cease to be single sex in future, so an expansion there will benefit all pupils and may take some of the pressure of spaces in the schools further to the south.

 

Tags: Schools