Blow in bid to build new schools on edge of Hartlepool

Council chiefs say they have no plans yet to create more school places in a fast-growing community.

By Alex Metcalfe
Monday, 7th February 2022, 6:48 pm

Efforts to boost schooling in Wynyard suffered a hammer blow in 2019 when the Department for Education (DfE) turned down a request to create a Wynyard Church of England Academy.

And Stockton Council bosses say there is still a surplus of secondary places at Northfield School, in Billingham, with an additional primary school “approved in principle” within Hartlepool Borough Council’s boundaries.

Wynyard resident Naqeeb Hussain posed questions about places ahead of the authority’s latest full council meeting.

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Wynyard Village.

He asked what the council’s threshold was for it to back the creation of new schools in Wynyard.

Mr Hussain added: “Are you able to indicate an estimate a year to start and complete these new facilities where demand will be needed?

“The Wynyard Masterplan identifies two additional primary and one secondary school will be needed by mid-2020s.

“If you consider forward planning, construction will need to start by 2022-23 assuming a three year design and construction programme.”

The Wynyard Masterplan was a key document approved in 2019 which set out where homes and infrastructure would go in the booming village.

The blueprint set out how nearly 2,500 homes would be built by 2032 – with just under 700 south of the A689 and 1,700 north of the main road at Wynyard Park.

It also sets out that two primary schools would be need to be open to cope with numbers – with a secondary school potentially needed by the “mid-2020s” for 600 pupils.

In response, the council said its approach was to provide school places across the borough and ensure there was a surplus “between 5 and 10%”.

It also aims to provide a primary school place within two miles and a secondary school spot within three miles of pupils’ homes.

The council revealed there was a surplus of 13% when it came to primary school places in the Billingham and Wolviston area.

A spokesperson added: “This surplus is projected to increase over the next few years.”

As for secondary school places, the council said nearby Northfield School currently had a surplus of 9% across all year groups.

The spokesperson added: “The council has no plans to further expand capacity as demand can be met within current surplus capacity.”