Proposals to start a consultation with a view to addressing parents' concerns about the high demand for places at the secondary school they would like their children to go to are to be considered by Derbyshire County Council.
The council's Cabinet will consider granting permission to carry out a consultation about a proposal to extend Glossopdale School at its meeting next Thursday (16 January).
The school opened in 2018 to accommodate all 1,000 students – who had previously been taught in buildings across three separate sites – in a new £23m state-of-the-art single site on Newshaw Lane in Hadfield.
Its core buildings – sports hall, hall and dining areas – accommodate 1,440 pupils and the teaching space supports 1,200 pupils.
The council say it had always allowed for the possibility of a second phase of development, but following a very high demand for places, it reviewed pupil numbers, current projections and the speed and extent of new housing developments in Glossop and as a result is considering bringing phase two forward.
In a consultation carried out between October and November last year, to gain local views about extending the school, the council say 56 of the 58 responses were supportive.
If Cabinet gives permission for a consultation to be carried out about the proposal to expand the school, it would take place between 24 February and 20 March 2020.
Cllr Alex Dale, DCC's Cabinet Member for Young People, said: "We’ve listened to parents’ concerns about the effects of the high demand for places at Glossopdale School such as splitting friendship groups, the travel distance to other schools and children’s ability to take part in out-of-school activities.
“We’ve responded by asking Cabinet to consider granting permission for a consultation about a proposal to bring phase two of the school’s development work forward ahead of the original plan.”
High Peak MP Robert Largan said: “As the first MP to live in Glossop since 1929, I know just how worried local parents have been about the lack of school places.
“I’ve been campaigning hard to get it expanded so that no children are forced to go to school outside of the area and I will continue to lobby Derbyshire County Council to make the necessary decisions in order to get the school expanded as soon as possible.”
If Cabinet approves the consultation at its meeting next week, and the outcome is that the school expansion goes ahead, the council say funding would need to be secured and planning permission given.
Subject to approval, the county council would be responsible for overseeing the development as part of its overarching responsibilities for school place planning.
Glossopdale School was four years in the planning, with the aim of creating an ‘outstanding centre for learning in the heart of the community’ as well as providing a multi-use community venue for Glossop, Hadfield and the surrounding areas.