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Future changes for school despite plan to continue temporary classrooms

Council bosses have lodged plans to keep temporary classrooms at a Nottinghamshire school ahead of a longer-term expansion plan.

Nottinghamshire County Council has published planning papers for Leen Mills Primary School, off Leen Mills Lane in Hucknall.

They reveal the school has one main building, one modular, separate building and two temporary classrooms which have been in place since 2008 and 2011.

The temporary classrooms are currently used for teaching Year Six classes, accounting for 57 pupils in total.

One of the temporary classrooms at Leen Mills Primary in Hucknall. Credit Nottinghamshire County Council

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But the authority says one temporary classroom was previously found in a “poor state of repair” and it is currently undergoing work ahead of the new term in September.

While these works were launched, however, it says the Year Six pupils were moved into the main building and this posed a “challenge for the school from a space point of view”.

Now analysis of the school has found a more permanent solution will be needed in the future to address the school’s infrastructure.

It showed extra classrooms will be needed in the main school building in the future to support the number of pupils at the school.

However, this will not be possible in the “medium to long term” and both temporary classrooms must be retained while feasibility studies take place.

The authority has submitted planning papers asking for the use of the two classrooms to be extended on a temporary basis for three academic years.

It follows amended pupil projections and a reduction in the number of new pupils enrolled at the school each year from 60 to 50 in September 2024.

The authority says this reduction will slash the total cohort of pupils from 307 in September 2023 to 248 by September 2026, meaning there is greater capacity in the main school building.

The mobile classrooms would then be removed from the beginning of the 2026/27 academic year, the council added.

In papers, it said: “[Nottinghamshire County Council] is applying for a renewal of planning permission for three years.

“Projections show the mobile classrooms will not be required after 2026/27.

“However, even with the pupil admission number reducing to 50, the school will still potentially require 12 classrooms and, therefore, once the feasibility study has been carried out, we hope the school can be reconfigured to provide these 12 classrooms within the main school.

“This being the case, the aim will be to remove these mobile classrooms in 2026/27.”

The plans, submitted to the authority’s own planning department as well as Ashfield District Council, will be debated at a later date.

It comes just weeks after the Conservative-led council announced £80,000 would be spent on the school as part of a wider £9.2m project.

This money would address issues with the mobile classrooms which the new papers confirm are related to roofing.

These works are “due for completion in September” ahead of the new term, the council said.

It added: “One mobile classroom is in a poor state of repair and [the council is] in the process of repairing this ready for September 2023.”

The school is one of 20 to be targeted through the project.

It also includes removing the old pool at Hucknall’s Edgewood Primary and tackling unsafe roofing and asbestos at Mansfield’s Intake Farm Primary.

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