Northamptonshire primary schools expand to meet demand

Education officials have insisted there will be enough primary school places to meet demand in Northamptonshire.

More than 20 schools in the county expanded in the past year to help find 7,000 more places by 2014.

County admissions manager Sarah Cook said rising birth rates and more people moving into the county had contributed to the increased demand.

New classes were added to schools in Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby.

'Open competition'

Corby is also getting a new school and in Northampton the council is converting Stirling House, a three-storey office building on Cliftonville Road, into a school after purchasing it for £1.6m.

Ms Cook said: "Every year for the last couple of years we have had a concern with the growing birth rate and in-migration that there would not be enough places."

Councillors are considering plans to build a new £8m school in Rushden, which would offer 420 places and be built next to the Goulsbra Road housing development. It would open in September 2015.

Councillor Catherine Boardman, cabinet member for education, said: "Additional primary capacity is needed in Rushden to serve new housing developments and rising primary pupil numbers.

"Although the responsibility for providing school places rests with the county council, there will be an open competition to decide who will run the school."

Ms Cook said a close watch is being kept on the rising numbers and plans were already in place for a new secondary school for 2015 and possibly two more after that.

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