Glossopdale School extension plans submitted

Plans for a 240-place expansion at Glossopdale School in Hadfield have been submitted.

Derbyshire County Council plans to build a new £4 million extension to the already £23 million school off Newshaw Lane. 

There is an urgent need for new places at the school and a decision was made in January to go ahead with the building work.

This followed several complaints about admissions to the school, with parents saying that friendship groups were being split and many children were having to go elsewhere for secondary school education because the school was too small.

It opened its doors in 2018 to 1,064 pupils after two years of construction with a maximum capacity of 1,200 at the time and the ability to expand further.

This extension would take the school to its full maximum capacity of 1,440 pupils.

The county council hopes it can keep the school at that capacity despite a raft of already approved and planned housing developments in the area which will bring in more families.

It has now formally submitted a planning application to itself including new images of what the school would look like.

The authority’s planning committee will decide on the plans in the next few months.

Plans drawn up by DLA Architecture show a separate two-storey classroom block to the south west of the main school complex, stretching towards Mouselow Close.

It would be “nestled” onto an existing bank on the south side of the school and pupils would be able to access it through the top floor, passing under a covered walkway close to the main complex.

There would also be an outdoor stairway down to the playground and fields below.

The new teaching block would face out onto a new hard-surfaced playground with three court areas marked out.

Plans submitted with the application say the new block would provide 200 extra spaces for pupils aged 11-16 and 40 sixth form places, along with further “social spaces”.

It would be built to look the same as the main complex, with grey and yellow cladding and pale bricks.

It would cover 898 square metres.

The plans say that there are a total of 145 full-time equivalent staff at the school plus the catering team and the application says this number of employees will not increase or decrease as a result of the development.

A report submitted with the application by DLA Architecture, on behalf of the county council, says: “This application is for a building of educational and architectural significance. It will transform the delivery of learning in its student catchment area and will benefit a wider network of educational organisations across the Glossopdale area.

“The proposed design has been developed jointly with the Derbyshire County Council and the college to meet their vision and has been subject to ongoing discussion with the wider community and all stakeholders involved in the college to ensure good building design.

“The rigorous approach has produced a proposal which will enhance the standard of student’s education, improve the skills of the workforce and provide a genuine community and educational facility and asset for generations to come.”

The council revealed in August that the school is also set to move out of authority control to become an academy – potentially by the end of the current financial year.

This is due to a damning Ofsted report which rated the school ‘inadequate’ and a crippling deficit it had gathered while at its old site.

The Department for Education has issued an academy order on the school, stating that it must convert, though no date has yet been agreed.

The council says that, if the school converts before work starts, the county, using taxpayer funds, will still carry out the work, not the new trust.

Meanwhile, when the school converts to become an academy, it would leave its hefty deficit with the county council – with taxpayers picking up the tab again.

The county said it would fund the deficit from its reserves, which is its pot of cash for emergencies.

Glossopdale’s last reported deficit was £746,000 – set to peak this year at £827,000.

High Peak MP Robert Largan said: "I have long been campaigning to get Glossopdale School expanded and have been working with local parents and local councillors, George & Jean Wharmby for over a year. This planning application being submitted is a very welcome and important step."

The images from DLA Architecture are artist impressions of the planned Glossopdale School extension

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