Cabinet agrees to consider whether a new primary school is needed in the Ribble Valley

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Lancashire County Council has agreed to consider whether a new primary school is needed in the Ribble Valley.

The Cabinet agreed to:

• Approve the use of the updated Department for Education 'Establishing a New School: Free School Presumption' guidance and associated framework
• Approve the undertaking of a consultation on the establishment of a new primary school in Clitheroe, in accordance with the process and framework

The new primary school, if it did go-ahead, would be built on the Higher Standen Farm site in Clitheroe.

County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, Cabinet Member for children, young people and schools, said: "It is a very sensible decision to start the process. The county council is responsible for making sure that we have enough high-quality school places available to meet the demand. We have already extended existing schools, but future expected developments mean that it is now timely for us to at consider if a new school is needed.

"This really is a cautious and exploratory first-step. All we are doing currently is simply starting a conversation and a consultation process, to see if there really is a need for a new primary school in this area. It is important that we do all we can to make sure that we have made the best options for children and young people available."

Local housing development in the Ribble Valley has led to an increased demand for school places. An additional 175 extra places have already been provided by the expansion of four schools in the local area.

However, future planned housing developments in the area mean that the possible requirement for a new school needs to be considered at an early stage.

A new one-form entry primary school with a capacity for 210 pupils is expected to meet the future demand. The proposed school would also be designed with the ability to expand in the future.

If it is decided that this new primary school is needed, it would be expected to be available for children in September 2024.

If the consultation results in a decision to commission a new school, relevant statutory consultation and competition arrangements will apply.

Tagged as: Children, Education and Families

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