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Paignton's fertility rate leads to school pressures

Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 6:28pm

By Daniel Clark, local democracy reporter, and Radio Exe News

Battle of the bulge: Roselands Primary School, Paignton

Too many babies. Too few school places.

The fertility of men and women in Paignton is causing a problem with primary school places. 


The high birth rate, combined with new housing, means more children than available seats. Worse, a new school has been delayed by two years.


The rise in numbers means Roselands Primary School in Paignton is going to have to take 60 reception children this year and next - and that 'bulge' will then go through the school years.


Torbay Council's going to stump up hundreds of thousands of pounds to build a new classroom. Ironically, the new school, due to open in 2020, is on the site of a former private school that went bust because of a fall in pupil numbers.


Roselands plans to admit an extra 15 pupils a year for two years, taking 60 pupils in Reception this year and next. The school needs extra space from next year. After that the admission number will drop to 45, but the new classroom will be needed as the ‘bulge’ pupils move through the school.


A report from Torbay Council says: “A new primary school is planned for the area but its opening has been delayed until September 2020. A bulge Reception class will be required in the Paignton area for September 2019, for one year only. The proposal is for the bulge class to be accommodated at Roselands Primary School through the provision and funding of an additional classroom.”

The school is consulting on the proposal and the council is being asked to make a decision in October on providing the building funds, as the project is not in the current capital spending plan.

The new free school originally planned to open in September 2018 was delayed by difficulties finding a location for it. A site was eventually found at the former Tower House School, a private school at Paignton, and it is due to open in September 2020.  The land has been bought and is being developed and funded directly by the Department for Education through the Free Schools programme.

Tower House School, which was renamed Elements School, closed after being put into administration just before Christmas 2017 following a fall in pupil numbers.


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