Calls for swift decision on extra classes

High Peak's MP is urging Derbyshire County Council to make a decision on extra Glossopdale School classes before the school application deadline on October 31.

Ruth George says she has asked for an urgent response from DCC to her request for information on plans for extra classes at the school, which will be needed to accommodate all pupils in Glossopdale from next September. 

Mrs George claims concerns have been heightened following a report that projects no further spending by DCC on Glossopdale School for at least five years and that the Budget Monitoring Report says: “The replacement Glossopdale School is now complete and operational, but the demolition and site works are still ongoing with asbestos issues at the Hadfield site.

“No planned expenditure is allocated to the school for any of the next five years, including in 2023 onwards.”  

Ruth said: “The county council know from their own figures of the number of children in Glossop who will be needing a school place, the extra classrooms that have been planned will be needed to accommodate all the children who want a place next September.

“I’m delighted to see the new Glossopdale School so popular, but by 2023 the situation will be intolerable.  

“With more houses being built, fewer children in Glossop will be able to go to their local school and that’s very worrying for many families.  

“With St Phillip Howard full as well recently, the alternatives are a long bus ride away, in a completely different town. We have seen the upset this caused to both parents and children earlier this year so I’ve begged the county council to do the right thing and provide the classrooms as soon as possible.  

“The foundations for the eight extra classrooms are already laid in case they were needed, so it’s not an expensive project.”

Mrs George added: “The borough council is forbidden by government policy from refusing extra housing due to lack of infrastructure, so the classrooms need building by next September. I hope this is an oversight in the council report which they will rectify, but in the meantime they have not replied to my request for information.

“With parents required to make decisions about school applications by October 31, it’s a worrying time for them.”

Cllr Alex Dale, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education at the county council, said: “We are aware of the demand for places at Glossopdale and the level of concern the current shortage is creating for local families. 

“As a new Conservative administration at County Hall since 2017, we’ve been working hard to fix the problems left by the old Labour council, who signed off plans for the new school without sufficient capacity to cater for local demands. 

“I recently visited the school site and met with local campaigner Robert Largan who, alongside Cllrs George and Jean Wharmby, has been really effective in making a strong case for expansion.”

Read more on Robert Largan's visit to the school here: 
https://www.questmedianetwork.co.uk/news/glossop-chronicle/calls-to-expand-new-glossopdale-school/

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