Leicester City Council announces £20m investment plan for secondary schools
More than £20 million is set to be invested in some of Leicester's most popular secondary schools to ensure demand for pupil places is satisfied over the next eight years.
Leicester City Council has revealed it is planning to buy temporary modular buildings that have provided additional classroom space at six schools and colleges over the last year, as part of its secondary schools’ growth programme.
It said the modular buildings installed at Babington Academy, in Beaumont Leys; The City of Leicester College and Judgemeadow Community College, both in Evington; at Crown Hills Community College, and at Rushey Mead Academy and Soar Valley College, both in Rushey Mead, in 2017 and 2019, have created the room for about 1,300 additional pupil places across all year groups in 2019/20.
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The modern temporary classrooms are credited with helping to address the "increasing and ongoing demand for secondary school places" resulting from new families moving to the city.
A spokesperson for the education authority said: "By buying the buildings outright, the city council will in total save more than £1.5 million compared to continuing to rent them."
They added that, as part of the plan, the Madani Boys and Girls Schools, in North Evington, will benefit from a £1 million expansion plan to help create 60 additional pupil places in Year 7, equating to 300 new places across all five year groups at the schools.
City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said the investment will ensure the secondary schools will have enough places to meet "every-growing demand".
“Thanks to major capital investment in our secondary schools in recent years, we have ensured there are sufficient places to meet ever-growing demand for pupil places," he said.
“Investing in these modular buildings at some of our most popular secondary schools makes good financial sense and will ensure there’s sufficient capacity to meet these schools’ needs for the next eight years or so.”
The investment is the latest in a programme of work which has expanded schools to create nearly 7,500 additional primary places since May 2010 – from 27,385 places to a current total of 34,830, according to the city council.
A council spokesperson said: "Over the same time period the number of secondary school pupil places has increased by 183, from 20,756 to 20,939.
"The council has pledged to create over 2,500 more secondary spaces by 2027/8 – bringing the number of places to 23,442 – through a combination of new school building and investing in temporary modular buildings in existing schools."
A formal decision on the planned investment of £20.5 million is due to be taken by the city mayor on Friday, July 10.