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Winchester Primary Provision Questions and Answers If this proposal moves to formal consultation then further information will be available as part of that consultation. However, we thought it would be helpful to address some of the most obvious questions alongside this initial announcement of a potential site. Q: Where exactly would the new primary schooling provision be? A: The proposed early years and new primary schooling provision would be on the site of the current Rotherly House boarding and early years provision on the Westgate School site. Winchester faces a significant increase in the numbers of 0-5 year olds in the City and the pressure on school places is therefore considerable. This site is ideally located to provide 60 (each year group) of those school places (420 overall in the primary years) as it lies at the heart of the residential areas which are showing greatest pressures on school places. Q: How would this work? A: If it went ahead, the proposal would potentially see The Westgate School change from an 11- 16 school into a 4-16 school, which would include the primary aged pupils. Q: When would pupils start at the primary schooling provision? A: If this proposal went ahead then we would plan that the first pupils entered Year R classes in September 2014. Although no decision has been taken, it is probable that we would work to a ‘phased opening’ where the school gradually grew by adding successive year groups. Therefore, there would be no immediate intake of pupils to Years 1 – 6. That means the first pupils from the new primary schooling provision would move into secondary education in September 2021. Q: What about Rotherly cottage and nursery? A: This is a highly regarded early years provision. During building works, it would need to be accommodated in modern temporary facilities where it would maintain business as usual. The proposal includes new permanent accommodation for the early years setting. Q: What about traffic? A: We would do a full access analysis. We anticipate that all or almost all pupils attending the proposed new provision would live within walking distance of the school. A travel plan would be put in place, which would seek to ensure that wherever possible children reached the school other than by car. There would, however, be additional staff vehicles morning and evening. The numbers and patterns for the early years provision would be as now – i.e. no additional vehicle movements. It is important to note that the pupils who would be attending the proposed new provision live in the communities surrounding Westgate. They will therefore all be making a journey to school regardless of whether this provision at Westgate goes ahead. If the additional primary places that are needed are not available locally then it is more likely that those children will need vehicular transport to go to schools outside the area. Q: I thought you were going to expand schools across the city? Why are you putting down temporary classrooms? A: We are still in active discussions with a number of primary schools in Winchester about expanding the schools. Schools across the city will be having temporary classrooms for September 2012 to make provision for an additional 80 Year R pupils and it is anticipated that this provision will also cater for the September 2013 intake. We are working on feasibility studies with schools for further growth beyond those dates. Those discussions will continue for two reasons – one is that the Westgate primary schooling provision proposal is just a proposal at the moment and we cannot make any assumptions until the consultation is closed and a decision reached. Part of the consultation will be to establish whether continuing the expansion of current primary provision in Winchester is actually still the best option. The proposed new primary schooling provision at Westgate School would be able to take an additional 60 pupils a year from September 2014. The forecasts of pupil numbers that we are working to at the moment suggest a permanent need for an additional 80 places, year-on-year, across the city. That means that at least some of the schools that are expanding for September 2012 and 2013 will need to maintain that additional capacity on a permanent basis regardless of whether this proposal around Westgate goes ahead. How this works out will be carefully considered in discussion with the schools but the overall aim will be to put provision as close as feasibly possible to where the demand for places is. Winchester City Council is currently consulting on its Local Plan and anticipates an additional 2000 homes in the city in the course of the coming 20 years. Some of those 2000 homes are already accounted for in our forecasts of pupil numbers. We are currently working with Winchester City Council to understand the potential impact of all the new homes in terms of school places and where they might be needed. Q: Will there be changes to catchment areas? A: Clearly, there is a long way to go before we get to this point, but should this proposal go ahead the County Council will consider whether there would need to be a change to primary and secondary school catchment areas in Winchester. If a decision is made that catchment areas will need to be redrawn then that would be subject to a full, separate, consultation. Q: What about Barton Farm? A: The considerations do not include Barton Farm, which, if developed, would include school provision as part of the development.
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