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School looks to increase intake
A PRIMARY school could see seven classrooms added to deal with a rise in demand for places.
Brighton and Hove City Council is considering proposals to increase the intake at Saltdean Primary School.
If approved, the school would need to be expanded to provide seven new classrooms and improvements to the hall and other areas.
The scheme could involve linking the existing buildings at the site, which were previously two separate schools.
The development would cost about £2.5m.
A report to the council's children and young people committee states the school has already had to add an extra “bulge” reception class in the last two years.
Because of the location of Saltdean, the nearest alternative schools where there are spare places would be more than three miles away.
East Saltdean lies outside the city boundary - within East Sussex – and traditionally all Saltdean children who wish to do so have been able to go to Saltdean Primary.
Nearby schools in Telscombe Cliffs and Peacehaven, which come under East Sussex, are also struggling with spaces and children from Saltdean were unlikely to be allocated places there.
The expansion would increase the number of children coming into the reception year from 60 to 90 a year. A consultation on the expansion received 21 responses, with 13 of those supporting the plans and eight against.
Concerns raised at a public meeting held during the consultation included whether a larger school could be as successful as Saltdean is now and whether a hall large enough for the whole school would be provided.
Concerns were also raised about access to playing fields and potential parking problems.
The officers report for the children and young people committee also states concerns can mainly be addressed through the design and planning processes for the extension.
It said: “There are no realistically achievable or acceptable alternatives to the expansion of Saltdean Primary School, without which it is forecast in excess of 20 children from the Saltdean community each year could find themselves allocated places in schools many miles away, outside their local community.”
Committee members are being asked to approve the next stage of the expansion plan by issuing statutory notices ahead of a final decision due in October.
If approved, the expansion will come into effect in September 2015.