Dorset

Poole school plans secure £5.2m of government funding

A new junior school is to be created in Poole and another expanded after £5.2m was secured for the project.

The Department for Education (DfE) has allocated provisional funding of £3.8m to Poole Borough Council for a new junior school on Constitution Hill.

The school, which will be built on the Fourways site, will cater for up to 360 pupils, aged seven to 11.

The council has also been granted £1.4m towards the expansion of Oakdale Junior School in September 2014.

Work started on the £2.7m project at Oakdale in May and is due to be completed in April next year.

'Expanding pupil numbers'

Councillor Janet Walton, portfolio holder for children and young people, said the money was "great news".

The Education Act 2011 says that when a local authority needs a new school, it must seek proposals for an academy or free school.

The council said potential sponsors had been in touch and and will now be assessed.

It said it would then submit proposals to the DfE by 18 October, which will confirm the sponsor by 12 December.

The National Audit Office said there was a national shortage of school places back in March, adding England needed 256,000 more places by 2014/15 to meet demand created by a rise in births.

It also identified Poole as an area of "high need", according to the council.

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