Gloucestershire

Cheltenham could get 90 new school places

An extra 90 school places could be created in Cheltenham in a county council bid to meet extra demand.

A consultation has started on creating 75 temporary and 15 permanent places across the town.

The council said there were a number of reasons why so many more children were coming into the school system.

These include families moving to the town from more rural areas and private school children being moved to state education because of the recession.

Dunalley and Hesters Way primary schools, and Rowanfield Infant School, are being considered for the temporary places although officials say this may change.

'Extra 400 children'

St James Primary is set to take on the 15 new permanent places.

Tim Brown, head of commissioning for learning at the county council, said: "This year particularly there's about 400 extra children in the school system and that's happened for a number of reasons.

"First of all we have children who would ordinarily have gone to private school coming back into the state sector because of the recession.

"Also we've seen a number of families moving towards the towns away from more rural areas.

"Historically, because of the falling birth rate, children have been able to go into schools from further away but as the birth rates pick up again it means siblings of those families are getting in, in preference to local children.

"We are looking at a number of schools in the area and once we have had those discussions with those schools in more detail we will be ready to make decisions later on during May."

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