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School places for Burton FAQs

These are general questions about our proposals to increase the number of school places in Burton.

Where has the need for new schools come from?

Increased birth rates and planned housing developments mean there will be more demand on Burton school places in years to come.

How many school places are needed and by when?

Based on the birth rate and planned or approved housing developments, we expect that there will be children across Burton needing an additional 1,600 primary school places and 2,600 secondary school places over the next 15 years. This is over and above those places already provided to date.

Why can’t you just extend the existing schools in Burton?

We have already looked at the existing schools and where possible we will extend the buildings and/or increase class size as appropriate. The work completed to enlarge and change the age range of Christchurch Infants to a primary school is an example of this. However, many of the existing school sites are small and have limited potential for expansion.

How do you know you are putting the schools in the right place?

To make sure Burton’s children can attend good local schools, we have carefully considered many types of evidence, including birth rate, housing development and practical constraints around space and safety.

One of the main things we have to consider is planned housing development because new houses have a significant impact on the number of families in any one area.

Where is the money coming from to pay for these new schools?

Money will come from a pot set aside by the Government for this kind of work (the technical term is “basic need capital allocation”). Contributions will also be sought from housing developers to provide school places for the additional children generated by the proposed housing developments.

Where will new schools be located?

New schools are planned within each of the larger housing developments in East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Local Plan, known as Sustainable Urban Extensions or SUE’s:

  •  Branston Depot
  •  Lawn’s Farm/Branston Locks
  •  Beamhill Road

A new 2FE Primary School is also being provided on a County Council owned site at Henhurst Ridge.

In addition, the county council commissioned Amec Environmental & Infrastructure UK Ltd to identify potential sites for new primary schools and a new secondary school in Burton-upon-Trent. More information is available from the ‘Education Studies’ webpage.

Will the new schools be academies?

With effect from May 2015 all new schools will be classified as ‘free schools’ and all will be academies.

If an existing school relocates to a brand new building, the school is not technically a new school and so their status will remain unchanged.

What are you going to do about any possible traffic problems which new schools might bring to the town?

Despite having limited sites available, we have done and will continue to do our best to spread the new schools across Burton to make sure the impact of any extra traffic is minimised.

As part of the detailed planning, our highways experts will assess the situation and recommend ways to minimise any impact.

What about the impact the new primary schools will have on the capacity of the secondary schools?

The growth in pupil numbers at primary phase has and will impact on secondary schools in Burton as numbers continue to grow.

The county council has been working with local secondary school head teachers, East Staffordshire Borough Council, local housing developers and land owners to review the implications this will have and to assess future need.

Why is Lawns Farm the best place for the new John Taylor Free School?

In choosing a site for the new secondary school, the county council has considered many factors including:

  •  where the children/young people will be living in the future, their potential journey to school and impact on levels of traffic across the town
  •  practical issues such as space and suitability of land for development

The site chosen at Lawns Farm is to the West of Burton, which has seen the largest increase in population growth at primary school phase and is where most of the housing growth is proposed in East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Local Plan.

Over 3,000 homes are planned for residential development sites at Branston Locks and South of Branston.

Building a new secondary school at Lawns Farm will fill a gap in the present spread of secondary school provision in Burton which is located to the North (De Ferrers Academy), East (Abbot Beyne and Paulet High Schools) and South of the town (Paget High School and John Taylor Academy). This will minimise journey times for families and limit the impact on levels of traffic across the town.

From a practical perspective, the site at Lawns Farm is also outside the Trent River flood plain.

When will the new John Taylor Free School at Lawns Farm be open?

John Taylor Free School is planned to be open ready for admissions in September 2018 (academic year 2018/19).

The school would grow annually over the following five to seven years with space for around 1,400 students.

Do you have any idea what the catchment area for John Taylor Free School will be?

The John Taylor Multi Academy Trust (MAT) have published the admission policy for the new school for Year 7 Admissions in September 2018, which does not include a catchment area. As a free school, the Trust may choose in the future to amend their admissions criteria.

It is not necessary for a school to have a catchment area, and many schools across the county do not operate them. Two of the three new Staffordshire primary academies that opened in recent years do not use catchments (Scientia Academy in Burton and Veritas Academy in Stafford). The other, Five Spires Academy in Lichfield, does have a catchment area, however the catchments for the local primary schools have remained the same, effectively meaning that some homes are in the catchment area for two schools.

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