South west Sheffield schools still hoping to get permission to expand
Schools in the south west of Sheffield are in talks to get extra funding from the Council to deal with rising demand for school places in the city
By: Kieran Aubrey
Schools in the south west of the city are currently in talks with Sheffield City Council to expand.
This would see an extra £1.5 million invested in Sheffield’s schools, as demand for places continues to rise year on year.
Silverdale and King Ecgbert would be the first schools to expand, both ranking 2nd and 6th for most oversubscribed schools in the city.
Council officer Nicola Shearstone read out the proposals in an executive members council meeting on Wednesday, saying: “We have a statutory duty to provide sufficient school places for children living in the city.”
She added: “If we look at our birth rate over the last decade or so we have seen about a 25% increase in the births in the city between 2002 and 2012.
“What we’re now seeing is those children moving into our secondary schools, placing a lot of pressure on them. We’re forecasting a deficit of places in the 2023/2024 academic intake.”
Despite the Mercia school being built recently, there is still a need for additional space as 106 students were refused places in their catchment school this year.
According to the report, demand for secondary school places isn’t evenly distributed across the city. Most of Sheffield’s oversubscribed schools are in the south west of the city.
The Department of Education originally gave the council an advance of £14.67m this year to help ease the pressures. However, this was not additional money, but funding which was brought forward.
Cllr Cate McDonald said: “I just think it’s ironic that Sheffield council are expected to pick up the full costs of the provision of education, but the government doesn’t allow us to manage our schools.
“We’ve worked closely with the schools and will continue to do so, but it is an outrage that the government doesn’t fully fund the cost of providing schools.”
Both schools are now hoping to be able to increase their Published Admission Number (PAN), with Silverdale proposing an increase from 180 to 240 students.