School expansion plan is approved

Willingdon Community School (Photo by Jon Rigby)
Willingdon Community School (Photo by Jon Rigby)

Plans to expand Willingdon Community School have been approved today (Monday).

East Sussex County Council’s lead member for education approved the recommendation, which will increase the number of school places from 1,000 to 1,200 to fit with growing demand.

The increase will reportedly be gradual with admission numbers in Year 7 being increased from 200 to 240 from September 2020.

Fiona Wright, assistant director for education and ISEND, said, “Demand for school places in the area the school serves is likely to grow as a result of new housing developments.

“The proposals are the result of the council’s detailed planning process to ensure there are enough secondary school places across the county.”

From 2020, the number of places for new starters at Willingdon Community School would increase by 40 places. The school could reach its new capacity of 1,200 places by 2025.

To create additional places, the school premises would need to be extended to provide additional classrooms and facilities and this would be subject to the usual planning process.

The report, written by Stuart Gallimore, director for children’s services, and approved by Bob Standley, the lead member for education and inclusion, special educational needs and disability, said, “The Council has a statutory duty to ensure there is sufficient capacity to meet demand for places and is therefore proposing to expand this popular and successful school to create additional permanent capacity to serve its community area.”

A Statutory Notice should now be published in November, followed by a further four-week consultation. A final decision on expansion is expected to be taken by the lead member in January.

The approved report can be found on the East Sussex County Council’s website.