Second consultation set to be held into plans to extend a Rother Valley school

A second consultation to extend a school in Rother Valley to allow for more pupils is set for approval next week.

By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 6:00 pm

The Willows School, in Thurcroft, takes pupils age seven to 19 with a range of moderate learning difficulties.

It was extended in 2018 to cater for 120 pupils, from 100 previously.

However, demand for places has continued to increase, and despite the conversion of the disused caretakers bungalow on site, demand has risen for places.

Councillors will discuss a second consultation over the expansion of Willows School, in Thurcroft.

As of September, 175 pupils are enrolled at the school, and it is hoped that the expansion plans will allow space for 150 pupils to attend.

A report to cabinet states that the Covid-19 pandemic had an impact on the number of pupils enrolled this year, and plans are in place for a “transitional arrangement” to reduce the numbers of pupils back to 150.

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A pre-statutory consultation in June – which asked parents and carers, staff, the governing body and councillors for their opinions on the changes – received no responses or comments.

“The absence of responses is reflective of the lack of impact this willhave on existing pupils attending the Willows as their placements will not beaffected,” states the report.

If approved by Rotherham Council’s cabinet on October 18, a second round of consultation will begin, to be reported back to the council by January 2022.