Tuesday 23 April 2024
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Nottingham

New Trent Basin primary school delayed for a year

A new primary school in Nottingham’s growing Trent Basin estate will not open as planned in September this year due to low demand.

Waterside Primary Academy was due to open in Trent Lane, providing spaces for 210 pupils as well as 30 full-time nursery spaces and jobs for 22 staff members.

The project, overseen by the Department for Education and operated by Greenwood Academy Trust, forms a part of the Waterside Redevelopment Zone.

Hundreds of homes are being built on the banks of the River Trent to the south-east of the city by developer Blueprint. Some have already been built, while others are due to be constructed this year.

In a letter Nottingham City Council told parents who selected the school as a preferred option that its opening has been delayed.

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Stunning views from Trent Basins waterside homes

The letter says the occupancy rates of family housing in Waterside and surrounding areas have not met predicted levels, while the school received fewer applications than expected by the admissions deadline of January.

A Nottingham City Council spokesman confirmed the Department for Education (DfE) decided to hold the opening until the 2025/26 academic year.

“The council has been notified by the Department for Education (DfE) that a decision has been made to defer the opening of Waterside Primary Academy until the 2025/26 academic year,” the council said.

“We have, therefore, contacted the parents and carers of affected pupils to inform them in good time and resolve any issues or concerns with our School Admissions team in advance of National Offer Day, which is Tuesday, April 16 and immediately after the Easter holidays.

“Further discussions with the DfE and the Greenwood Academies Trust will be held this week to review the next steps and to communicate further with affected families.”

A resident who lives nearby, who asked not to be named, said the news was “disastrous” for the area.

A Department for Education spokesperson confirmed the decision was made due to low demand.

“The free schools programme remains an important part of this government’s plan to level up standards and respond where there is a need for more school places,” they added.

“In the case of Waterside Primary free school, the demand for primary places has not materialised at the rate expected in the council’s basic need forecasts. In light of this a decision has been made to defer the opening of the school.

“We will continue to work closely with Nottingham City Council on the opening of a Waterside free school.”

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