Stevenage and Hitchin schools expand to meet student influx

A SECONDARY school will temporarily expand to meet the growing demand for school places, with another which is due to shut next year to be redeveloped to accommodate students at neighbouring institutions.

Herts County Council (HCC) agreed on Monday to invest �300,000 into enlarging Hitchin’s Priory School, and to fund �4.6m remodelling works to Heathcote School in Stevenage, which is to close next summer.

The latter will be used to build accommodation for primary and secondary school children at Greenside School and Barnwell School.

It is proposed that Barnwell school will have five forms of entry for Year 7-11 pupils at the Heathcote site, and five based at Barnwell - 750 pupils at each.

Greenside will co-locate the Heathcote premises with Barnwell, and extend the range of provision it offers, in line with objectives developing for special schools nationally.


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“The pattern of operation is intended to be beneficial educationally, in that it provides the small scale and social content of a small school, but with the economies of scale and delivery of specialisms of a much larger school,” said a county council spokesman.

“The first phase of the proposals are works to the Heathcote building, required properly to equip it for shared use by Greenside, and its new pattern of use by Barnwell.

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“It is important to seek to get these underway as soon as possible on the closure of Heathcote, so as to allow at least partial access by Barnwell from September 2012, as well as avoid the costs of holding empty buildings.”

Priory School’s own project expansion will be to accommodate an additional one form of entry, to help meet immediate needs.

The school’s proposal currently outlines the addition of four classrooms.

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