More than £20m of investment will ensure that eight of Leicester’s most popular secondary schools can continue to meet demand for pupil places over the next eight years.
As part of its secondary schools’ growth programme, the city council is planning to buy the temporary modular buildings that have provided additional classroom space at six city schools for the last year or so.
The modular buildings installed at Babington Academy, The City of Leicester College, Crown Hills Community College, Judgemeadow Community College, Rushey Mead Academy and Soar Valley College in 2017 and 2019 have created room for around 1,300 additional pupil places in total across all year groups in 2019/20.
The modern temporary classrooms are helping to address the increasing and ongoing demand for secondary school places resulting from new families moving to the city.
By buying the buildings outright, the city council will in total save more than £1.5m compared to continuing to rent them.
At the Madani Boys and Girls Schools, a £1m expansion plan will see existing space reconfigured to create 60 additional pupil places in Year 7, equating to 300 new places across the five year groups of the school.
City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “Thanks to major capital investment in our secondary schools in recent years, we have ensured there are sufficient places to meet ever-growing demand for pupil places.
“Investing in these modular buildings at some of our most popular secondary schools makes good financial sense and will ensure that there’s sufficient capacity to meet these schools’ needs for the next eight years or so.”
The investment is the latest in a programme of work which has expanded schools to create nearly 7,500 additional primary places since May 2010 – from 27,385 places to a current total of 34,830.
Over the same time period the number of secondary school pupil places has increased by 183, from 20,756 to 20,939.
The council has pledged to create over 2,500 more secondary spaces by 2027/8 – bringing the number of places to 23,442 – through a combination of new school building and investing in temporary modular buildings in existing schools.
A formal decision on the planned investment of £20.5m is due to be taken by the City Mayor on July 10.