Consultation on £3 million Ursuline College expansion is open

Expansion plans are being considered for Ursuline College

Consultation on plans to expand Ursuline College in Westgate is now open.

The isle has a shortage of secondary school places available. Last year the shortfall was met by three schools taking more than their admission places -Royal Harbour Academy 31 places, Ursuline College 30 places and St George’s CE Foundation School 10 places.

But education chiefs are prediction a shortfall of 183 Year 7 places for 2019/20 and this rises to 227 by 2022/23 if no action is taken.

Across the school year (Years 7-11) this could mean a shortage of 920 places by 2022/23.

Plans for Ursuline

The £3 million expansion at Ursuline school proposes expanding the school from 4 forms of entry to 6 forms of entry.  This proposal will add 60 Year 7 places from September 2019, increasing over subsequent years to a capacity of 900 school places for Years 7 to 11.

The consultation period opened on Monday (January 8) and runs until February 5.

The Kent Catholic Schools Partnership (KCSP) and the Governing Body of Ursuline College agreed to the consultation.

Following the consultation, the Trust and Governing Body will consider all views expressed and then make a decision on how to proceed.

An information drop-in session will be held at the school on Tuesday 23 January 4pm-7pm where there will be an opportunity to view proposed designs for the additional accommodation and ask questions about the expansion proposal.

Benefits

In a letter to parents the school says: “Having additional students would provide financial benefits for the school. The additional accommodation would offer our current and future students improved facilities, making a positive impact upon their learning and aspirations.”

Kent County Council is undertaking feasibility, design and planning work on the proposed expansion. Issues of parking and traffic will be looked at when a planning application for the new accommodation is made.

A business and financial plan will be submitted for approval to the Education and Skills Funding Agency. The ESFA will then make a recommendation to the Secretary of State who will either approve or reject the proposal.

Margate free school

The proposal runs alongside the proposal for a secondary free school on the former Royal School for Deaf Children site in Margate.

Kent County Council will fund the majority of a £20 million project to build the six form school, which is expected to provide places for 900 11-16 year olds.

Applications from potential sponsors are open until January 15. The Secretary of State will decide who will get the role by April.

The secondary, which will be a free school, is expected to open for the first year in 2019 at the former Walmer School site with 150 pupils. They will then transfer to the new build the following year with pupil numbers predicted to have doubled and the school roll having students from Year 7-Year 9. By 2022/23 the school is predicted to have 690 pupils enrolled.

The school will also have a 15-place special educational needs provision.

Consultation on this proposal closes on January 15.

Send your views on the Ursuline expansion by midday on Monday 5 February either by handing it in at the school office for the attention of Andrew Fuller, Business Manager or by emailing your views to consultation@ursuline.kent.sch.uk

Consultation documents for Ursuline can be found at www.ursuline.kent.sch.uk

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