New school places for Hertfordshire students

Published: 26 Feb 2019

Hertfordshire pupils are set to benefit from plans to increase the capacity of schools in Codicote and Watford.

Hertfordshire County Council is currently consulting on expanding Codicote C of E Primary School, near Welwyn, and agreed to support the proposed change of age range at Watford University Technical College.

As with other parts of the UK, Hertfordshire is facing up to the challenge of how to accommodate a growing population, and increasing the capacities of schools is one way the County Council is helping to support sustainable, long-term growth.

The proposal for Codicote C of E Primary School – the only primary serving the village and its environs – could see it increase from a one-form to a two-form entry school from September 2020. Already oversubscribed, the school is set to face increased demand from the development of 315 planned new homes outlined in North Herts District Council’s local plan.

The Full Council also agreed last Tuesday (19 February) to support proposals for Watford University Technical College to lower its current age range to include pupils aged from 11-18, providing places for 90 new Year 7 pupils. Currently the technical college offers 150 places per school year for 14-19 year olds, specialising in event management, hospitality and computer science, but intends to expand its curriculum to include humanities and the arts as part of its proposals.

Members of the Full County Council also agreed last Tuesday to a proposal enabling The Marlborough Science Academy to provide its growing number of pupils with additional classrooms. Providing new, additional teaching facilities will ensure the Academy can continue to offer high quality places to local families and accommodate an intake of 212 pupils.

The County Council has created over 14,200 additional permanent and temporary primary and secondary school places since 2012.

Terry Douris, Cabinet Member for Education, Libraries and Localism said: “This is very positive news for all three schools. The expansion of existing premises enhances educational opportunities, enriches the curriculum and has a positive impact on the whole school community.

“It also enables additional school places to be made available as close as possible to the demand for them, ensuring sustainable growth and improving access to school places to all sectors of the community.”

Simon Newland, Operations Director for Education said: “We are committed to making sure there are enough school places throughout the county to give every child the opportunity to thrive.

“These school expansions are the sustainable answer to providing much-needed school places as close as possible to the demand for them, creating vibrant, local centres of learning for local communities.”