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Schools in Ellesmere Port and Neston to benefit from £43m of Government funding

Extra funds to meet growing demand for places over next three years

Plans for a replacement high school in Neston

Schools in Ellesmere Port and Neston will benefit as £43m of funding flows into the borough council’s kitty from the Department for Education.

The council says the cash will enable it to meet demand for school places over the next three years.

It includes an extra £28m the council was not expecting and equates to 1,600 additional primary places and 750 more secondary places by September 2018.

Children and families chief Cllr Mark Stocks (Con) has revealed the cash boost from Whitehall will enable the council to bring forward its 10 year capital plan.

He said: “This is excellent news and the money will be spent on expanding schools to meet the demand for places and, in some cases, providing halls for schools without that essential facility.

“At present a full survey is being carried out across the borough.

“We will be prioritising areas where increases in the birth rate and large-scale residential development will mean that the need is greatest.”

The council has a duty to provide a school place for every pupil living in the borough and recently fine tuned its planning to ensure it meets parental preferences wherever possible.

It points to the fact that of 3,301 applications for secondary school places in September, 3,049, or 92%, secured their first preference.

In common with other local authorities, the council says it faces a rising birth rate which has created an increased demand for primary school places at a time when many current school buildings are reaching the end of their life.

In addition to the basic need funding, additional Government finance has been secured for the re-building of Neston High and Christ Church C of E Primary in Ellesmere Port.

A further bid for new accommodation has resulted in new classrooms at Wolverham Primary and Hinderton Schools in the past year and work is also under way to provide new accommodation at Childer Thornton, Parklands and Rossmore primary schools during the next financial year.

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