Stamford primary school set to grow to meet the extra demand for places

Stamford's Malcom Sargent School in Empingham Road. By Lee Hellwing
Stamford's Malcom Sargent School in Empingham Road. By Lee Hellwing

One of the largest pirmary schools in Stamford is expanding in the next academic year to cater for a ‘bulge year’ in pupil numbers.

Malcolm Sargent Primary School, in Empingham Road, is set to gain an extra reception class in September.

Tristan Revell, headteacher of Malcolm Sargent, said: “The local authority approached us because there are not enough places for school children in Stamford this September.

“Once it became clear that all the local primary schools will be full for reception year pupils, and that all the applications were coming from families on existing developments close to the school, it made sense for us to say ‘yes’.

“Starting a new school is a big milestone in a child’s life, and if we hadn’t stepped up to the plate, it would have meant a lot of local families being forced to send their children to the next available school.

“The schools in Stamford and Bourne are full, so that would mean Market Deeping or beyond.”

The move will see the school grow to 21 classes, with the work to convert two small classrooms into one larger classroom to accommodate the new arrivals taking place in the Summer. The project will be funded by Lincolnshire County Council.

Mr Revell doesn’t believe the move is indicative of a shortage of places caused by new developments in the town.

He said: “This is nothing to do with the building developments which are ongoing in the town. The local authority know this is simply a bulge year for administrations, and has taken steps to address the issue by working closely with us.

“Last year the opposite was true – we had a dip in children, and instead of 90 children, we only had 70.”

The county council’s admissions and education provision manager, Matt Clayton, agreed.

He said: “We anticipated a potential pressure on places for September 2018 in Stamford, and have considered a number of options.

“Once we had the applications from parents, we were able to take parental preference for schools into consideration and identify where demand was highest in the town.

“To best meet the need and demand of local families we are working on a solution with Malcolm Sargent Primary that will provide sufficient school places in the local community.

“We are also working with all schools in Stamford to make sure there are enough school places and adequate provision beyond