Move to boost number of places at Wilmslow High School


Cheshire East Council is working with the management team at Wilmslow High School to increases the number of places available.

At a recent meeting with local councillors and management at Wilmslow High, senior local authority officers outlined the programme of work under way to increase the size of the school to meet the local demand for secondary school places.

The impact of the Cheshire East Local Plan Strategy will require the school to expand and there have been some concerns raised within the Wilmslow community that there will not be sufficient places for children to attend their local school.

The scheduled work under way is being phased in to meet the immediate need and then respond to the demands associated with planned housing developments in Wilmslow and Handforth.

Year 7 intakes for last year and for September 2018 have been increased to 330 pupils. However, of the total number who requested Wilmslow High School as their first choice only 86.7%% were successful, with 50 students losing out.

This increase in pupil numbers will see an initial investment of over £650,000 to improve facilities across the school – none of which are temporary buildings.

Future phasing will see further significant investment on the school site by the council as part of planning for the future secondary education provision for the local Wilmslow community. This will include funding resulting from housing developments, which is known as section 106 financial contributions, as well as grant allocations into the council.

Councillor Jos Saunders, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for children and families, said: "The considerable work already undertaken is geared towards meeting both the short-term needs of the school as well as planning for the long term. This important work is being planned and delivered in full consultation with the school and is supported by local members.

"Having sufficient school places for every local school is a priority for the council and this programme typifies the work which is under way across the borough. All local Wilmslow parents and families should be reassured that we are fully committed to meeting their needs through a sustainable and creative building programme."

Dr James Pulle, headteacher of Wilmslow High School, said: "Meeting the needs of the local community is one of the core beliefs of the school. Having a real input into the capital investment for the school is essential and there is a real commitment and excitement to continue to grow and expand our successful school.

"The newly-completed external dining facilities are an excellent example of investment, which all pupils will benefit from and I look forward to finalising future phases of work, which allows us to deliver the very best educational opportunities for every learner.

"Consideration of new access points on to the school site and linking into local cycle initiatives shows that this expansion programme is more than just buildings. Addressing access and transport issues is key to meeting increasing pupil numbers."

Wilmslow High School