An extra 720 pupil places will be created in Coventry secondary schools between 2022 and 2024 as part of a newly-approved £11.9 million scheme.

The city will see 240 new places created in time for September 2022, 300 for 2023, and 180 for 2024, facilitated with a new cohort of 30 Year 7 pupils in each of the following schools:

  • September 2022: Ernesford Grange, Finham Park, Blue Coat, Bishop Ullathorne, Lyng Hall, Sidney Stringer, Westwood, plus a further school to be identified.
  • September 2023: Blue Coat, Cardinal Wideman, Finham Park 2, Foxford, Stoke Park, Bishop Ullathorne, Lyng Hall, Sidney Stringer, Westwood, plus a further school to be identified.
  • September 2024: Cardinal Wiseman, Finham Park 2, Foxford, Stoke Park, Lyng Hall, Sidney Stringer.

The expansions form a ‘phase two’ drive to create new pupil places to satisfy demand, with Year 7 requirements set to peak at 4,482 pupils in September 2023.

‘Phase one’ – which is on-going and runs between 2019 and 2021 – has already seen hundreds of new secondary places created through temporary and permanent school expansions as part of a £26 million government-backed plan to provide places at ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted-rated schools.

Expansions will be met largely by temporary structures, the council has said.

The latest expansion plan was signed off by the council’s cabinet on Tuesday October 13.

A report to council said: “This proposal, in addition, to the previously agreed phase 1, will provide Coventry with sufficient school places across the city, enabling it to fulfil its statutory duty of providing school places, and ensuring all children have access to high-quality education.”

The project is funded from a £23.7m capital allocation given to the city council from the Education Skills Funding Agency in May.

Coventry received the sixth-highest allocation in the country, and the second highest in the West Midlands after Warwickshire.

Cabinet member for education Cllr Kevin Maton said on Tuesday: “We have tried to be as flexible as possible as there’s nothing worse than building expensive buildings that then are no longer required in five to 10 years time.”

“Given that we are talking about millions of pounds of expenditure and we are aiming to do that with as many local companies as possible.

“The only way you can do that is by having a rigorous and clearly set out procurement policy. It is really important that it is open and transparent so everybody knows exactly how those contracts have been arrived at.”

The remaining funding will be added to the council’s capital programme for secondary and primary schools, as well as for expanding and improving secondary special schools.

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