At the first-ever virtual Policy Committee, county councillors gave the go-ahead for initial works costing £250,000 which will result in draft designs and a programme of work. This work will be commissioned by the Spencer Academies Trust and monitored by Arc Partnership at a cost of £10,000.
An additional £90,000 was approved for the preparation of a planning application to point of submission so that the first phase of proposed works, the provision of a new sports hall and classrooms could be met by September 2022.
The increase in pupil numbers would see the school increase from a 9 form entry to a 12 form entry school and would see pupil places increase from 270 per year to 360 places.
Cllr Jonathan Wheeler of West Bridgford South told The Wire: ‘I am delighted with the continued backing of the County Council to the project of redeveloping Rushcliffe School to meet the needs of our community in the years to come.
“It may seem a lot of money to spend on master planning, however, given the size of the area and the critical need to get increased spaces for pupils while maintaining a nice environment to learn, means we need to get the redevelopment right. With the old leisure centre dominating the site, public footpaths around the boundary and the gymnastic centre on-site, it is not an easy undertaking so I fully support this endeavour and I am grateful that Cllr’s from all political parties on the Policy Committee supported this’
Councillor Philip Owen, Nottinghamshire County Council’s Chairman of Children and Young People’s Committee, said: “I am very proud that we are expanding school places for the growing communities of Rushcliffe with sufficient capacity to grow in the future.
“It is important that our secondary schools provide the space and the best quality equipment to meet the needs of a modern curriculum and our future employment needs and I have no doubt the plans for Rushcliffe School will deliver this.”
The County Council has a statutory duty to ensure sufficiency of school places across the county and it has identified the West Bridgford planning area as an area that will require additional school places over the coming years.
Councillor Owen added that the County Council had an excellent record of making sure there were sufficient school places for pupils across the county.
He added: “As a Council, we have an excellent record on pupil place planning because we have experts who analyse data and look at growing communities’ years in advance and plan accordingly.
“This year more than 90% of parents received their first choice secondary school , and nearly 97% of parents were offered one of their four preferred secondary schools, a record we are extremely proud of.
“The expansion of Rushcliffe School plays an important role in the delivery of the overall places needed in the area so these feasibility studies are key to developing future plans.
“Rushcliffe is an excellent school where pupils can achieve their potential and this proposed expansion will support that.”
A further report will be brought to the Policy Committee on the results of the master planning and feasibility works in due course.