Contingency plans to cover shortage of school places in Corby

More pupils have got into their first choice school than last year
More pupils have got into their first choice school than last year

Contingency plans have been drawn up to provide extra places while the wait continues for two new schools to open their doors.

A new teaching space will provide new school places for Reception and Year 1 children in Corby from September.

The Learn Space building on the Earlstree estate will be used to provide 60 school places because two primary schools which were due to be opened in the town for the new school year will not be ready in time.

Learn Space was opened three years ago with a Department for Education grant to demonstrate how spaces can be used for teaching and it was instrumental in planning the new school at Stirling House in Northampton.

The school will be delivered by the Woodnewton academy trust, which already provides early years and primary education in two other schools in Corby.

Cllr Matthew Golby, county council cabinet member for learning, skills and education, said: “When we learned that the proposed new free school at Lodge Park Academy and the new primary school at Priors Hall were not going to be open this September, we began drawing up contingency plans.

“Learn Space is a fantastic facility where we can provide additional school places under the excellent leadership of headteacher Ellen Wallace from the Woodnewton academy trust.

“In these circumstances we would normally use excellent mobile classrooms, but felt this was an even better option.

“We are confident that this building will enable us to ensure children in Corby receive the very best education in the short term while new schools are brought forward by providers.”

The children who are allocated a place at Learn Space will remain there for the duration of Key Stage 1 and then move to a Woodnewton academy school for Key Stage 2.

This announcement comes a week after the Telegraph reported on concerns raised by Corby MP Andy Sawford in relation to Ashworth Preparatory School.

Plans for the school – named for Corby’s Victoria Cross recipient Lance Cpl James Ashworth – were announced by the David Ross Education Trust in 2014.

It will eventually cater for 420 pupils aged four to 11.

But Mr Sawford said he was concerned that the school, due to open in September, did not appear to have identified a site yet.

Mr Sawford said he was due to meet trust representatives last week, but the meeting had been rearranged.

He said last week: “I am concerned places are being advertised at a school due to open in September which currently does not have a site.

“I hope there is a suitable contingency plan in place because the lack of information is causing worry and speculation.”