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New secondary school could open in Cornwall

New secondary school could open in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 5:57am 9th March 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Two separate bids have been submitted to the Government to open a new secondary school in Cornwall.

Cornwall Council revealed last year that it was looking for a site for a new secondary school which would be in the Perranporth area to ease pressure on places in Newquay and Truro.

Now it has been revealed that two bids have been lodged with the Government to open a free school in the area.

One is for Perranzabuloe Academy and the other is for Perranporth Secondary School.

The applications are part of wave 14 of the Government’s invitation to apply to open free schools across the country. The list of applications made was published last month.

school student

A report on the schools capital programme went before Cornwall Council’s children and families overview and scrutiny committee this morning (Wed).

It stated: “The outcome of the Wave 14 bids will have a significant impact on secondary sufficiency plans for Truro and Newquay, in particular the 2FE increase required in Truro to meet short-term demand for additional places. The prospect and timescale for delivery of a potential new school on the North Coast will determine the scope and location of additional places needed in Truro in the short- and medium-term; for that reason plans for expansion of Truro secondary schools will not be confirmed until the outcome of the bids is
known.

“Should the Wave 14 bids for funding for a new secondary school be unsuccessful, it will be necessary to identify alternative sources of capital funding should the Council conclude that a new North Coast secondary school is the preferred option.”

Report on the schools capital programme

The report to the scrutiny committee also set out where the council is looking to expand schools to increase capacity.

For secondary schools the council has identified need in Truro to provide 300 places by September 2022 – although as stated this is dependent on the success of the bids to open a new school in the Perranporth area.

In Launceston the council has made expansion of the secondary school  a priority with a need for 300 more places by September 2021.

school children

For primary schools the council has said that the picture is “more complex” due to changes in the birth rate in Cornwall.

There have been sustained increases in the birth rate which has led to more children going to primary schools, but the birth rate has now started to fall.

The council said that the intake for reception classes in September is expected to be 5% lower than it was at its peak in 2015 and 2016 and is expected to continue falling.

However priority has been identified for primary schools to expand in Stratton and Shortlanesend to increase capacity.

Staff in the education department are also working more closely with the council’s planning department to evaluate need according to developments which are being built.

A pilot local education sufficiency plan is being drawn up for the Truro and Roseland area due to the proposed Langarth Garden Village being in that area.

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