Consultation at Cavendish

Artists’ impressions of how the proposed new Cavendish primary school will look go on show at a public meeting next week.

The meeting is on Wednesday September 17 and members of the public can attend one of three sessions to view the plans and hear from architects and local authority officials.

The Eldon Road school announced last week that following on from a lengthy public consultation it would be pressing ahead with plans for an all-through school on the site.

The primary school is likely to be housed in a new block on the playing fields, joined to the existing school building on the right hand side and facing the graveyard. The extension will accommodate a two-form primary school and a nursery, which will provide places for children from the age of two.

Headteacher Kenny Fitzpatrick said an integrated layout will mean children of all ages will have on-site access to sports, dance, drama and specialised teaching areas such as art rooms, ICT suites and science labs.

“There is already a lot of interest and support for the Cavendish all-through school,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. “We have even had parents asking to register their children for the primary school.

“Next Wednesday is an opportunity for parents, carers and neighbours to find out more about our vision for an all-through school. But we are also very keen to hear their views and to get an understanding of any concerns they may have. This is an important and exciting project, not just for the school but for the whole community.”

The plan to develop primary provision at Cavendish is supported by the local authority.

Unusually high birth rates in the last few years means there will soon be more children than there are places in primary schools so the county council has been looking at ways to address the shortfall and concluded Cavendish offers a good solution and will help alleviate some of the pressure. Currently the school has 870 students aged 11 to 16 but due to an increase in the number of secondary schools in Eastbourne, Cavendish will take in fewer students over the coming years. This means the school has the capacity to provide much needed primary places.

Subject to planning approval, the primary classes are set to start in September 2015 with two reception classes, growing year on year as new children join at reception. The primary school proposal is in addition to the application made earlier this year to establish a joint sixth form with Ratton. If successful, Cavendish could become an all-through two to 19 year old school offering nursery, primary, secondary and post-16 education.

The consultation sessions on Wednesday are at 4.30pm, 5.45pm and 7pm and people wanting to attend should call the school on 731340.