Kingsmead Primary School expansion consultation

Cheshire West and Chester Council is proposing to enlarge, by expansion, Kingsmead Primary School, Dukes Way, Northwich, CW9 8WA, in order to fulfil the Council’s statutory duty to provide enough primary school places in the local area.

Please note

We welcome views from all sections of the community and would encourage everyone to take part in this consultation. Note that the Council has a responsibility to make sure that its services are available to all, regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, religion or belief or sexual identity. Comments that are offensive to particular groups or considered inappropriate under the Equality Act 2010 will not be considered or published as part of this consultation.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

1. Why are we proposing to enlarge by expansion Kingsmead Primary School?

Cheshire West and Chester Council (‘the Council’) is proposing to expand Kingsmead Primary School to provide more school places for local children within the Northwich Town South Planning Area. The proposal to expand the size of the school and increase its PAN has arisen from analysis of the present and future need for primary school places in the Northwich area. This has considered the local birth-rate, planned housing developments, and parental preference as expressed through the admissions process.

Kingsmead Primary is a popular and successful school with an Outstanding Ofsted rating. The number of first preferences have been consistently above the current Published Admission Number (PAN) for the school for the past seven years. For the 2020 admissions round, the school was unable to accommodate all its catchment children.

September 2021

  • Number of first preferences (on time): 53
  • Criteria allocated: Distance

September 2020

  • Number of first preferences (on time): 61
  • Criteria allocated: In area

September 2019

  • Number of first preferences (on time): 54
  • Criteria allocated: Distance

September 2018

  • Number of first preferences (on time): 50
  • Criteria allocated: Distance

September 2017

  • Number of first preferences (on time): 47
  • Criteria allocated: Distance

The Council has a legal duty to provide enough school places in the local area. We have agreed with the Governing Body of Kingsmead Primary School to carry out this formative public consultation on a proposal to create 105 additional school places in total, by enlarging the admission number from 45 to 60 places for each year group from Reception to Year 6.

If the proposal is approved, then additional accommodation, including classrooms and learning areas, will be provided so that the school can grow in a planned way into the new accommodation.​​

2. Are there plans to show how this proposed expansion will be delivered on site?

Plans will be produced as part of the feasibility study needed to design the building of the extended school. These will be prepared if this initial stage of consultation leads to a decision to go forward with the proposal to increase the size of the school. This means the feasibility study can be informed by responses made to this consultation by parents/carers and the local community. School staff and Governor Representatives will be part of a team who make sure the school’s views feed into the design process. Outline drawings are likely to have been produced by the time we go to the formal stage of consultation which is likely to be in the early autumn 2021 school term.

If the proposal to expand the school is agreed, then the building works will also go through a separate planning application consultation process. This means that once plans have been developed, all members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on the planning application necessary to implement them. If the proposal is approved, then construction work on any extension will probably start in spring 2022 for an anticipated September 2022 handover of the new classrooms and ancillary spaces to the school.

3. Will the school need to close during the proposed building work?

No. Works to the existing building will be planned carefully to take place mainly around school holiday times to make sure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum. The main build will be contained by securely fencing-off the area and should have very little impact upon the daily life of the school. The school leadership team will be involved in planning the proposed building work and there will be a requirement that the contractor will adhere to both health and safety and safeguarding matters when onsite.​

4. How will the proposed expansion happen and how many children will there be at the school?

When the new accommodation is completed the school will be able to admit a maximum of 60 pupils into reception class (increased from the school’s current 45) from September 2022 onwards. The expectation is that this will enable a controlled, gradual increase, potentially over several academic years. However, if there is enough ‘in-year’ demand for places in other year groups to allow the school to employ additional teachers then the governing body may consider admitting pupils into other year groups (above the current admission number of 45). Growth will continue in this way until the planned maximum number of 420 pupils is reached. Eventually, the proposal will allow all pupils who are admitted into the school from September 2022 onwards to be taught in single age group classes.​

5. The consultation process - indicative timeline

10 May - 12 June 2021

Informal Public Consultation Period

26 - 27 May 2021

Local Authority representatives will be available by appointment for an audio/video ‘face-to-face’ consultation with parents, pupils and other stakeholders.

Late June 2021

Director of Education and Inclusion determines whether the proposal should proceed to decision-making either in its current form or in an amended form in response to feedback received to the consultation process.

September 2021

If agreed by the Director, a public ‘Notice’ will be published in a local newspaper and published on the Council’s website. This begins a four-week period of ‘Representations’ when anyone may make a comment or an objection to the proposal.

Autumn 2021

If a decision has been made to go to ‘Notice’ it will be the intention to submit a planning application to enable construction to take place. This will be subject to a separate period and process of consultation conducted by the Council’s Planning Officers.

November 2021

All responses to the informal consultation and any representations received during the formal consultation will be considered by the decision-maker, the Cabinet Member for Children and Families. who decides whether to go ahead with the proposal.

September 2022

The earliest date that a permanent increase in school places of the school could be implemented if the proposal is agreed.

6. How can I give my views?

There are several ways to give us your views on this proposal:

  • A virtual face-to-face meeting using Microsoft Teams for parents/carers, members of staff, governors and other interested parties can be booked at a time and date to be agreed from Wednesday 26 May to Thursday 27 May 2021, where there will be the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments to a Council Officer and if requested a representative of the school. If you would like to take up the opportunity please email schoolplanningandpolicy@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk no later than 19 May 2021.
  • By sending the response form to School Organisation Team, (Nicholas House), Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE. Alternatively, you may hand your response form in at the school. All written responses need to be received by midnight on Sunday 13 June 2021.
  • By completing the online survey
  • By emailing schoolplanningandpolicy@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

7. What happens next?

This consultation stage closes at midnight on Sunday 13 June 2021. A report summarising the responses received during the consultation period will be submitted to the Director of Education and Inclusion, who will then decide whether to proceed with the expansion proposal and publish statutory proposals in the form of a public notice. The public notice would be published in a local newspaper. For a period of four weeks following the publication date, anyone can comment on the proposals. Having considered all responses, the Cabinet Member for Children and Families will then take a final decision as to whether to proceed with the proposals which will include a planning application process as outlined above.​

Additional information

Cheshire West and Chester Borough Council is a data controller under the Data Protection Act 2018 and will comply with the requirements of the Act at all times. The comments you make will be shared with those making the decision about this proposal.

Full details of how we manage the information provided by respondents can be found at:

At the end of the period of informal consultation the Council will analyse the Equalities impact of the proposal to see if it could affect anyone unfairly. We welcome any comments you might wish to make that might help to inform this assessment.

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