Michael Lyons writes: The replacement Bramcote College, with a 150 Year 7 intake, plus a 200 sixth form equates to a total capacity of 950 pupils (Years 7-13).
The question is does a school capacity of 950 provide sufficient secondary school places for our local area?
To give you some context, when White Hills Park Federation (now Trust) took over the running of Bramcote’s secondary schools, Bramcote Hills Sports and Community College (now the Bramcote College site) had a1301 pupil capacity. Nearby Bramcote Park Business & Enterprise School (lately the Bramcote School – now demolished) had a 755 pupil capacity.
Bramcote College currently has a 600 pupil capacity. That’s a loss of 1456 places in total.
Even after the replacement Bramcote College is built, 1106 secondary school places will have been lost on the Bramcote Hills campus.
Is this a positive thing for our area?
So why will the replacement Bramcote College fail to deliver sufficient capacity for the future?
According to published figures (https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/Search), the number of pupils currently being educated in Bramcote College’s linked primary/junior schools stands at 1379. At Alderman White, which has a school capacity of 725 pupils, there are 1793 pupils in its linked primary/junior schools. If you add together both sets of linked primary/junior schools’ pupils, the figure stands at 3172. The replacement Bramcote College plus the Alderman White School will only have a combined capacity for 1675 pupils, so what’s in store for the other 1497 pupils when they look to move into their local secondary school?
So, does a similar picture exist in the north and the south of Broxtowe?
In the north of the borough the Kimberley School and Hall Park Academy have a combined capacity of 2475. Currently there are 3075 in their linked primary/junior schools.
In the south of the borough the Chilwell School and George Spencer Academy have a combined capacity for 2450 pupils. Currently there are 3017 pupils in their linked primary/junior schools.
This means at least 775 more secondary school places exist in the north and the south of the borough than in our area.
Is this fair and equitable access to education?
Our local shortfall is directly linked to the closure of the Bramcote School and the reduced capacity at Bramcote College.
Arguably all areas of Broxtowe need to build new schools or expand existing ones to cater for the increased numbers that already exists in the borough. That’s what’s happening elsewhere in the County, so why not here?
Bramcote’s education land is far from being ‘surplus to requirement’ but is urgently required to be put back into the use it was originally compulsory purchased for. This needs to be done now so that statutory obligations are met by ensuring state funded school places exist in our local area for all those children who need it. Over 3000 pupils are receiving their state funded primary/junior education in our locality and they will all have a right to receive state funded secondary education locally too.
Who is able to explain what plans are in place to ensure this will happen?
(Note – Bramcote College and Alderman White’s catchment areas includes all of Bramcote plus Beeston North, Stapleford North, Chilwell West and Trowell. This is an issue that has repercussions across NG9 and beyond)!