Saighton Church of England Primary School and Pre-School Enlargement by Expansion consultation

Closing date: 13 June 2021

Cheshire West and Chester Council is proposing to enlarge, by expansion, Saighton Church of England Primary School and Pre-School, Saighton Lane, Saighton, Chester, CH3 6EG, 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 Saighton Church of England Primary School and Pre-School?

Cheshire West and Chester Council (‘the Council’) is proposing to expand Saighton Church of England Primary School and Pre-School to provide more school places for local children within the Chester Rural South-East Planning Area. Saighton Church of England Primary School and Pre-School now has a shortfall of places because more parents have been expressing a preference for the school over the past four years. The school has a net capacity of 112 places and has 116 pupils on-roll [Oct’ 2020 PLASC Census]. Three of the seven year groups (Reception to Year 6) have pupil numbers in excess of the school’s current admission number of 16 places.

October 2020
  • Number of pupils on-roll
    • Reception - 19
    • Year 1 - 16
    • Year 2 - 19
    • Year 3 - 18
    • Year 4 - 13
    • Year 5 - 15
    • Year 6 - 16
    • Total - ​116
  • ​Number of current places​​
    • Reception - 16
    • Year 1 - 16
    • Year 2 - 16
    • Year 3 - 16
    • Year 4 - 16
    • Year 5 - 16
    • Year 6 - 16
    • Total - ​112
  • Number of proposed places by providing additional classroom spaces
    • Reception - 25
    • Year 1 - 25
    • Year 2 - 25
    • Year 3 - 25
    • Year 4 - 25
    • Year 5 - 25
    • Year 6 - 25
    • Total - ​175

The Council has a legal duty to provide enough school places in the local area. We have agreed with the Governing Body of Saighton Church of England Primary School and Pre-School [and the School Trustees] to carry out this informal public consultation on a proposal to create 63 additional school places in total, by enlarging the admission number from 16 to 25 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 spaces.

​​

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

These will be produced as part of the formal feasibility study needed to plan the building of a proposal to extend classroom spaces. These will be prepared following this initial stage of consultation, if a decision is made to go forward with the principle of increasing the number of places at the school. This means the feasibility study can be informed by responses to this consultation with parents/carers and the local community. School staff and Governor Representatives will be part of a design team to make sure that the school’s views feed into the design process. Plans are likely to have been initiated if 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 leadership team.

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 the expectation is 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?

We believe that when the new accommodation is completed the school will be able to admit a maximum of 25 pupils [increased from the school’s current 16] from September 2022 onwards. The school will decide how best to achieve this. It may be just into the Reception class in September 2022, rather than into all year groups at once. The expectation is that it will be a controlled, gradual process, 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 (up to a maximum of 9 additional pupils in each of those year groups, above the current admission number of 16). Growth will continue in this way until the planned maximum number of 175 pupils is reached.​

5. Will there be enough playground space?

As part of a feasibility study, the design team will make sure there is sufficient playground space for a 175 place primary school. The school will plan how to use the space for lunch and recreation times and for Physical Education.​

6. The consultation process – indicative timeline

10 May - 13 June 2021

Informal Public Consultation Period

25 - 27 May 2021

Opportunity for parents/carers, staff, pupils, governors, stakeholders and interested parties to book Microsoft ‘Teams’ meeting with Council and School representatives.​​

Late June 2021

The Director of Education and Inclusion decides whether to continue with the proposal.

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.​

7. How can I give my views?

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

  • 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
  • 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 Tuesday 25 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 Wednesday 19 May 2021.

8. 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.​

00

Thanks! Your message has been sent.