Salford primary schools are set to be expanded in a £14.5million programme designed to cope with what the Council calls `migration and pupil yield from new housing'.
*Brentnall Community Primary School is set to be extended with the construction of a new block with an increase from 210 to 420 pupils by September 2017.
* Broughton Jewish Cassel Fox Academy is to be extended from 420 to 630 pupils by September this year.
*Charlestown Primary School could re-open in September this year, after its controversial closure seven years ago*.
* Clifton Centre Pupil Referral Unit Key Stage 3 and 4 are to be demolished and re-built on the same site.
*The Deans Community Primary School is to be relocated on part of the former St
Ambrose Barlow site, increasing pupil places from 210 to 420 by September 2017.
* Holy Cross with All Saints RC Primary School is to increase capacity from 315 to 420 pupils
* Larkhill Community Primary is to expand from 420 to 630 pupils by September 2017
* Lower Kersal Community Primary School is to expand into the former nursery and children's centre, doubling pupil places from 210 to 420.
* St Luke's C of E Primary School is to have its new build expanded by 210 places creating a 630 place school.
Of the £14.5million cost for the expansion programme, the Council has only £10.7million, leaving a shortfall of £3.8million, creating massive pressure on education budgets.
In 2013, Salford Council introduced the Education Contributions SPD – christened the `Kiddie Bedroom Tax' by the Salford Star (see here) – under which developers of new houses would pay under Section 106 planning fees to help ease the growing primary school places crisis which at that time predicted that 4,500 new places would be needed by 2018/19.
This would be £1,008 per new two bedroom house; £2,016 per three bedroom house; £3,024 per four bedroom house and £4,033 per five bedroom house. A Salford Council report stated that if a developer "fails to make appropriate provision…this would justify the refusal of planning permission"...
...However, as the Salford Star has documented, many developers have avoided paying the `education contributions', using the same `viability' get-out that they use to evade paying planning fees (over £20million in total and counting) and supplying affordable housing (over 1,000 properties and counting) – ie that their profits won't be high enough if they had to cough up.
Indeed, this latest Council report on the primary school expansion reveals that "officers have been working closely with regeneration colleagues in identifying S106 monies for future education planning gain from qualifying housing development. To date only £17,000 actual funds have been received..."
*The report states that a "High level study is being undertaken to identify a central space that could be linked to an existing school to accommodate new families that move into the area. Charlestown has been identified as the most central location and available to meet the needs...". It adds that if Charlestown fits the bill, it will be open for the 2016/17 academic year.
* See previous Salford Star articles – The Salford Star Told You So – click here and Salford Primary Schools Mess – click here