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Public Meeting Hears of Plans To Expand Onslow Village School

Published on: 8 May, 2013
Updated on: 13 May, 2013
Onslow Infants School

Onslow Infants School

Residents and parents were told yesterday (May 7) about plans to expand Onslow Infant School.

In common with many other schools in Surrey, including Queen Eleanor’s, also in Onslow Village, expansion is necessary because of an increasing birth rate. Recorded births within Guildford Borough have risen from 1385 in 2000 to 1690 in 2012.

Headteacher

Headteacher Sarah Kemp-Powell: “The expansion would be a fantastic opportunity…”

Other schools in Guildford affected include: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School, Boxgrove Primary School, Bushy Hill School, Northmead School, Burpham Primary School and Stoughton Infant School.

Onslow Infant School  has already had temporary “bulge” classrooms erected to deal with extra numbers in the short term but demand will not decrease and, if proposals are agreed, the school will grow to take an intake of 90 pupils each year instead of the current 60.

Plans for the construction of extra classroom space and facilities are still being  developed and discussions continue between staff, council and architects.

Council officers from Surrey County Council (SCC) explained that the council had a duty to ensure that there were enough school spaces for all children and showed maps that demonstrated that although the occasional pupil has come from as far away as Aldershot, most at the school, which has been rated by Ofsted as “outstanding”,  come from the Onslow Village area.

The officers also confirmed that sufficient funding is in place to pay for the necessary building work which will be planned to minimise disruption to staff and existing pupils, a concern raised by parents at the meeting.

Local residents were primarily worried that existing parking problems would be exacerbated by additional pupil numbers. One neighbouring resident described how she had found it difficult to turn around in the cul-de-sac which she and other neighbouring residents share with the school.

Speaking after the meeting some residents said they felt too many parents were bringing their children to school by car even if they lived a very short distance away, however they did not want the road included with the resident parking scheme, currently being considered by the council.

The public meting with an audience made up of parents and local residents

The public meeting with an audience made up of parents and local residents

The next expected stages of the expansion proposal process are:

  • Consultation period ends – Friday, May 24
  • SCC Cabinet member authorises publication of statutory notice – Wednesday, July 10
  • Publication  of notices – late July
  • Final decision by cabinet member for schools and learning – mid September

The headteacher, Sarah Kemp-Powell, said: “The expansion would be a fantastic opportunity for this outstanding school to build on the progress it has achieved. More children would be able to benefit from its ability to provide an excellent education whilst retaining the family ethos of a small school and it was an exciting time for Onslow Infant School and the local community.”

Please click here to see the Onslow Infant School’s website page on the expansion proposals.

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