Expansion plans could see Higham Ferrers primary school double in size

Henry Chichele Primary School in Higham Ferrers
Henry Chichele Primary School in Higham Ferrers

Plans to double the number of places at a primary school have been submitted.

Henry Chichele Primary School would increase in size from 210 to 420 pupils if the application by Northamptonshire County Council is approved.

This will enable pupils to attend a local school and will mean more families will receive their preferred school

Northamptonshire County Council

The proposals are for an extension to the front and rear of the existing primary school.

If given the go-ahead, it would include refurbishment works to allow expansion from one to two form entry, eight additional classrooms, a new studio (in existing classroom), a multi-purpose room, increased size staff room, library and associated stores, group/meeting rooms, offices and toilets along with a new front entrance and waiting area.

A statement of need prepared by the county council as part of the application states: “Primary education in Higham Ferrers is provided by Henry Chichele Primary School, Higham Ferrers Nursery and Infant School and Higham Ferrers Junior School.

“Each of these schools is currently at or very close to its capacity, with only three primary places available across the town.

“The need for expansion is related to a national rise in the population of primary aged children due to a higher birth rate, new housing and inward migration.

“With additional new housing approved for Higham Ferrers, which is expected to generate in excess of 85 primary aged children, there will be added demand for scool places in the town.”

The documents describe the school as popular and over subscribed, and add: “As there is a clear demand for additional school places in Higham Ferrers, the council propose to permanently expand the capacity of the school from 210 to 420 pupils.

“This will enable pupils to attend a local school and will mean more families will receive their preferred school.”

A report discussed by the county council’s cabinet in April this year said extending the school would require a £3.147m capital scheme and construction of the permanent extension was due to start in the autumn, with completion scheduled for January 2017.