Sutton Council continues to work with schools and partners to provide extra secondary school places

10 Dec 2021

Just under £10 million of funding approved by Sutton Council’s People Committee to support schools to provide more places and resources for local children and young people.

At Sutton Council’s People Committee last night a report was presented updating councillors and the public on the status of additional secondary school places due to be created over the next six years. These places are set to be developed in existing schools following the Department for Education’s (DfE) decision in August 2021 not to proceed with Sutton Free School 1. This decision was made by the DfE on the grounds that the places can be provided in an alternative way rather than through the provision of a new school. 

Following the report to the committee yesterday evening, the Council will be providing £9.3 million of capital funding over the next five years. This will go towards further accommodation and enhancements to support five schools admitting additional pupils over the next five to six years. The changes to the schools include an extension to dining facilities, the addition of a multi-use hall, a modular building that provides new classrooms and practical rooms to better meet the school’s need, plus additional classrooms and communal spaces.

The approval of the funding will support the delivery of secondary projects listed in the report and will ensure a sufficient number of school places covering 2022/23 to 2027/28 academic years, after which demand is expected to reduce. 

Headteachers from the schools that have agreed to provide the additional places have jointly said:

“This is welcome news for children and young people in the borough. In the shorter term we can provide high quality school places from within existing schools. This also avoids additional or surplus places in the longer term when the forecast demand for secondary school places falls. This funding will provide quality provision at schools where needed, to support our pupils with their education. Our schools will continue to work collaboratively with Sutton Council to manage the period of high demand for school places. This is to ensure that we best support the outcomes for children and young people of Sutton.”

Lead Member for Education and SEND, Councillor Jenny Batt said:

“It is important that the Council and local schools continue to work closely together to deliver the highest level of school provision for our children and young people, which allows them to reach their full potential. The report taken to December’s People Committee highlights this collaboration and it is good to hear about how this new funding will help our existing schools to offer more dynamic learning spaces, which are even better equipped and more suited to our children and young people.”

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