Cabinet to discuss school’s expansion

Marsh Green Primary School
Marsh Green Primary School

A formal consultation is likely to be held on a plan to expand a Wigan school.

Wigan Council’s cabinet will consider the plan to build an extra classroom at Marsh Green Primary School when it meets next Thursday.

There is a continued growth in demand for places in the Wigan West area. Marsh Green Primary School could meet this demand

Members are likely to approve the move to a four-week formal consultation before they considered the responses from it and made a final decision on the plan.

The plan would mean £2.8 million is spent so the school can offer an additional 30 places to pupils from September 2017 and in subsequent years.

A report published ahead of the cabinet meeting reveals that 33 people responded to a pre-publication consultation, which was held to gauge public opinion, and all were positive about the plan.

The report reads: “Between 12 September and 14 October 2016 a pre-publication consultation took place on the proposal to enlarge Marsh Green Primary school.

“The proposal would allow the school to offer an additional 30 places for the September 2017 intake and for subsequent years.

“As a result the school would increase from a one form entry to a two form entry school.

“A total of 33 responses were submitted. All responses were positive supporting the expansion of the school.”

Reasons given for supporting the plan included, pupils not having to travel out of the area and saving the disappointment for those who haven’t got places in the past, despite attending thr early years provision.

The report explains that no opposition to the plan was received and that there is “there is support for the proposal to proceed”.

The report reads: “The local authority has a statutory duty to provide sufficient school places for its children.

“There is a continued growth in demand for places in the Wigan West area.Marsh Green Primary school was identified as a school that could meet this demand.

“Pre-publication consultation has taken place on the proposal to enlarge the school and no objections have been received.”

Up until now, the demand for places has been dealt with by creating bulge classes in some year groups at schools in Wigan West. These schools are Orrell Lamberhead Green Community, Westfield Community and Marsh Green Primary schools.

In addition, a few years ago, St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School increased its admission number by 10 from 50 to 60.

But the demand for places is expected to continue to rise. If this goes ahead, statutory notices will be published on the proposal in newspapers, at the entrances to the school and in other public places, such as libraries.

The formal consultation will run from December 8 until January 19 before a final decision is made in February.

Changes to the school will hopefully be completed by September 1, 2017.

The council has assured parents that, if the plan goes ahead, where possible, work will be carried out in the summer holidays.