Wisborough Green School could expand to take more pupils

Wisborough Green School is listed among 12 primaries in West Sussex which could be expanded.

A consultation has started, asking parents their views on adding more places in the north and east of the county.

Wisborough Green is listed alongside primary schools in Hassocks, Haywards Heath, East Grinstead, Crawley and Horsham which are all earmarked for growth. The aim is to make the extra pupil places available by September 2013.

West Sussex cabinet member for education, Peter Griffiths, says expansion across the county is needed because of new homes and a rising birth rate.

In a message in the consultation documents, he says the north of West Sussex is served by a large number of highly-regarded and successful schools in the primary sector.

The county council now had evidence that the number of children in local primaries in the consultation areas was growing, partly due to an increase in the birthrate and also as a result of housing developments.

The county had been closely monitoring the number of children in the listed schools to make sure it could meet the demand for places.

It is proposed the expansion in numbers will enable the schools to grow incrementally. For Wisborough Green it is suggested it will change from a 20-place admission school to 25 places from September next year.

The locality has seen housing development particularly in Billingshurst and in Pulborough which is adding pressure to pupil numbers across the area, the county says.

It describes Wisborough Green Primary as a popular and successful school which attracts pupils from outside the village.

If expansion does go ahead, the school would take extra pupils in existing permanent buildings with some remodelling to enhance facilities suitable for the larger numbers. The county adds: “The school and local authority recognise there are traffic implications likely to raise concerns at the school. However travel plans will be considered in depth as part of the planning application process should the decision on education grounds favour expansion.”

At its last full Ofsted inspection in the summer of 2006, the school was described as a smaller than average village primary school with 143 pupils on roll.It received the top ranking of Grade I, meaning ‘outstanding’, in the six categories judged by Ofsted, including teaching and learning and its achievements and standards.The consultation on the schools’ expansion project can be found on West Sussex County Council’s website. It runs until June 25 and a decision is expected in mid-September.