Plans for major expansion at Worksop school could get the green light next week

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Plans to extend a Worksop school to make space for 300 more pupils could be given the go-ahead by Nottinghamshire County Council next week.

The expansion, at Outwood Academy Portland, in Netherton Road, Worksop, would see three two-storey extensions of the school built.

The existing dining room and the kitchen would also be extended, while landscaping work would be done on the campus grounds.

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Nottinghamshire County Council is trying to address growing pressure on secondary education in the town.

Outwood Academy Portland, on Netherton Road.Outwood Academy Portland, on Netherton Road.
Outwood Academy Portland, on Netherton Road.

The school says its expansion relates to a “significant level of new housing developments” meaning more education space is need.

If approved by the authority’s planning and rights of way committee on Tuesday (February 28), the new buildings, extensions and landscaping would be allowed to come forward.

This would join new cycle bays, cycle lockers, electric vehicle charging points and extra electric vehicle infrastructure in the car park.

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It is expected that the work would be concluded in time for the start of the 2024/25 academic year in September next year.

Then, the school would likely see its new year seven intake rise from 300 to 360 pupils.

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Overall, the expansion is expected to see the school’s pupil cohort rise from 1,500 to 1,800, increasing incrementally per year over a five-year period.

In notices to parents, the school’s principal Danielle Sheehan said in November: “Exciting plans are being developed to invest significant capital money to support the expansion of Outwood Academy Portland.

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“[This is] so that it can meet the anticipated increase in the number of students in the town.

“Following careful scrutiny and planning, the local authority identified the need to increase the number of secondary places following the significant level of new housing developments in the area.

“It approached Outwood Academy Portland and Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT) and we were keen to support this initiative.

“We consider this a fantastic opportunity for the school as it also allows us to provide a solution to the growing pressure on school places.”

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In documents, the county council confirms another three full-time and one part-time teaching roles would be created through the plans.

A full-time management role would also be created alongside two full-time catering and three other full-time positions.

There would also be four new part-time catering positions and three further part-time roles, taking the total number of new jobs up to 17.

Overall, 12 full-time equivalent positions would be created when factoring in the hours of the new staff.

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Eighteen new classrooms would also be created alongside a drama studio, a staffroom and toilets.

Forty covered cycle spaces are included in the scheme alongside five staff cycle parking lockers.

In consultation documents, the authority said: “Nottinghamshire County Council has a statutory duty to ensure that there is sufficient capacity to meet the current and future demand for pupil places.

“Similar to many other areas in Nottinghamshire, Worksop has been facing a growth in the demand for school places.

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“Housing developments at Gateford, Shireoaks and Thievesdale will yield in excess of 1,000 new dwellings with the majority designated for family occupation.

“As the local community and population expand there is likely to be an increase in the demand for pupil places at Outwood Academy Portland.”