Brand new 1,200 place free school plan for Leeds
Decision-makers in Leeds are set to discuss plans to buy an area of land in East Leeds in order to build a brand new school.
An unused playing field land that forms part of the 2.77 hectare Arcadia site at Torre Road, is subject to design work to create an eight-form entry school on the unused playing field land.
As local education authorities are not currently allowed to open new schools, the report also sets out how the council plans to hold a competition to find a preferred sponsor to run the new 1,200 free school.
The council claims new schools need to be created in east Leeds, due to an expected increase in population in the coming years, particularly among children of high school age.
A report, set to go before executive board members, stated: “Since 2009, Leeds City Council has created over 11,500 primary school places across the city in response to rising birth rates which increased from 7,500 per year in 2001 to a peak of 10,350 in 2012.
“For the academic year starting in September 2018, a total of 1,600 new primary learning places were created to meet the continued demand.
“As children move through from primary into secondary school, the demand for secondary places is starting to rise. In east Leeds a combination of population growth and extra demand generated by planned new housing means that a new 8-form-entry secondary school is required to ensure that the additional demand for places can be met.”
It added that a shortage of educational help for young people with a Special Educational Need and Disability (SEND) has also been identified in this area. It therefore proposes an on-site 30-place provision for children with
complex communication and moderate learning difficulties, who may also have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Condition.
The executive board approved the recommendation for the Council
entering into negotiations with the Arcadia Group Ltd for the purchase of the land back in March 2019.
The document added: “Negotiations with Arcadia have progressed to the point where an agreed position between both parties has been agreed and the Heads of Terms have been signed off by Arcadia’s Board. Legal instructions have been given and both parties are progressing with the relevant paperwork to allow the purchase to complete by July 31, 2020.”
Council officers claim the design proposals are now in a position to be
submitted for planning approval before the final design layout can be finalised.
It is hoped the new school would be able to open in time for the start of the September 2021 academic year.