Plan for Coventry schools to take on extra classes as demand soars

There's soaring demand for school places in Coventry -Credit:Sam Stephenson/
There's soaring demand for school places in Coventry -Credit:Sam Stephenson/

Coventry primary schools will get extra so-called 'bulge' classes amid a squeeze on school places. The so-called "temporary expansions" will help meet soaring demand and be rolled out in September, a new council report says.

The council papers do not say which schools will get extra classes to accommodate more pupils but claim this will be "flexible." Three schools in the city have already taken on seven new temporary classes, the report says.

These are: Moat House Primary School (year 2) Frederick Bird Primary School (years 1, 2 and 4) and Moseley Primary School (years 1, 2 and 4.) The plans are a response by the council to plummeting levels of available places at the city's primary schools.


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Pressure on school spaces is being caused by more people moving to the city than leaving it - a high level of net migration, the report said. In particular, far more children are joining primary schools 'in-year,' rather than in reception.

This has meant that the number of children at primary school in Coventry grew by around 29 extra classes in 2022-23, and by around 21 classes in the year to date. Low levels of free space at primary schools suggests they are at or over capacity, sparking "potential challenges" in meeting the city's needs, the report said.

A key part of the council's strategy to deal with it is "working in partnership with schools to introduce bulge (temporary) classes," according to the report. These "temporary expansions" are for a single year group and move through the school until year six.

"More temporary school expansions will be implemented from September 2024 onwards to manage and assist with the increased temporary demand for school places," the report added. "This will be flexible and developed in partnership with schools in the city."

Other "next steps" in the report include increasing the number of pupils schools expect to admit (the pupil admission number) at schools where there is enough physical space. The council will develop plans to set up new schools or expand ones in the city, and look at schools that could take bulge classes.

The report will be discussed by councillors on Thursday (18 April.)

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