New primary school set to open in Birmingham in a bid to resolve shortage of places

A pioneering secondary school in Birmingham is to open a new £3.5 million primary school in a bid to tackle a shortage of places in the city.

Work is underway to create a primary school for 420 pupils aged four to 11 at Bournville School, which is run by Fairfax Multi-Academy Trust.

The school will open its doors to its first pupils in September 2016, with places for 60 reception, 30 Year 1 and 30 Year 3 pupils.

The two-form entry school will continue to expand until it reaches full capacity by 2021, when it will offer 420 places for pupils across Years reception 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Four disused existing classrooms at Bournville School are currently being converted and will be refurbished in time for pupils starting in September.  Meanwhile, Birmingham City Council has approved planning permission to build a single-storey facility which will house a further four classrooms.

Work will start in October on developing the new building, which is due for completion by August 2017.

The development, funded by the Local Authority, will mean Bournville School will become an all-through school, catering for pupils aged four to 16.

The new primary school will create up to 20 jobs, with Kevin Mee being appointed as Head of Primary. Mr Mee is currently head teacher at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Darlaston, which is rated ‘good’ by education watchdog Ofsted.

Bournville School’s Head of Academy Nicola Gould said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the school as we expand to become an all-through school.

“Part of our ethos is to create a school in which pupils are able to discover their individual brilliance.

“In order to do this we need to nurture them academically, socially and emotionally.

“By starting at the school at the age of four and staying with us right up until they take their GCSEs, it means we will be able to get to know each child as an individual from an early age, developing them on an holistic level.

“We will help them to discover their true identities and give them the tools they need to let their talents shine.”

The school will be based in its own grounds, away from the secondary provision.  The Primary School will operate a different timetable to the secondary school, with its own starting and finishing times. The Primary School will also have different break and lunch times to the secondary school, as well as its own playground, main entrance and school office.

Andy Bird, CEO of Fairfax Multi-Academy Trust, said:  “We are delighted to be a pivotal part of the solution of addressing Birmingham’s shortage of primary places.

“As a Trust, we are committed to working in collaboration with the Local Authority to ensure students in Birmingham get a place at a school which is in their local area.

“It is a joy to watch as Bournville School begins its new chapter in its journey as it expands to welcome primary aged pupils.

“Bournville School will be the first all-through school to operate in South West Birmingham and it offers a truly unique opportunity for parents wanting their children to attend a school where they will be nurtured and developed from the age of four up until they are 16.

“We are an innovative and forward-thinking Trust and we are always striving to find ways to grow and strengthen our schools.

“We look forward to welcoming Bournville School’s first primary pupils in September.”

The news comes as the Department for Education and the Education Funding Agency revealed in April that one in four primary schools in the West Midlands is full or over capacity and the region is going to need another 50,000 school places by 2017.

In Birmingham, 107 out of the city’s 299 primary schools are full or have more pupils than they should, according to the figures.

The shortage of places saw one in seven children in Birmingham missing out on their first preference of primary school for the 2016/17 academic year.

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