BURTON is ‘well placed’ to meet the ever-increasing demand for school places, a council has insisted.
Staffordshire County Council is adamant that it is prepared for the surge in applications expected in the coming years after Labour claimed that by 2016 there would be nearly 2,000 more children of primary school age in the county than places.
It came as the National Audit Office also warned of a desperate need to increase the number of primary schools.
After Labour accused the Government of ‘failing’ to provide the number of school places necessary to meet demand, the council insisted it had no case to answer over school places, pointing to its ongoing work in Burton as an example of how prepared it is. This included the controversial relocation of St Modwen’s Catholic Primary School to a new site in Tutbury Road, as well as plans to expand River View Primary and Nursery, in Stapenhill.
Ian Parry, cabinet member for education at the county council, said: “Staffordshire is well placed to meet the increasing need for primary school places, and is putting in a range of measures over the next three years to ensure the county’s primary schools will cope well with the increasing demand.
“In Burton, we have moved fast to create the 1,000 extra places needed over the next 10 years. The county council is investing £20 million to ensure there are enough school places to accommodate pupils in quality facilities.
“We have put in a range of measures, including building two brand new 420-place primary schools, and remodelling and extending others to cope with increasing demand.
“There is more demand for places in Staffordshire as well as nationally, but by grasping the problem early and come up with a variety of innovative and far-reaching solutions to ensure we are well placed to cope with increasing demand.”