Schools are set to expand to meet demand from Hatfield

Stanborough School. Picture: Danny Loo

Stanborough School. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A Welwyn Garden City school and a Brookmans Park school are expanding to meet the demand for extra school places from youngsters in Hatfield.

The county council’s Cabinet has agreed to invest in increasing the Year 7 intake at Stanborough School and Chancellor’s by 30 pupils each from September 2019.

The additional places at Stanborough will be prioritised to Hatfield applicants, and 25 of the 30 spaces at Chancellor’s will also be prioritised to Hatfield youngsters.

Secondary schools in Hatfield, Onslow St Audrey’s and Bishop’s Hatfield Girls’ School, are both full and for the last two years Onslow St Audrey’s has offered additional places to ensure every child could access a local school place.

The school is currently seeking to permanently increase its published admission numbers by 30 in a year group and is awaiting approval from the Regional Schools Commissioner.

The county council is looking to obtain a site allocation in the Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan to open a secondary school capable of serving the Hatfield settlement.

Once the new school is established, Chancellor’s and Stanborough’s admission rules will revert and will no longer specifically prioritise Hatfield teens.

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Stanborough headteacher Peter Brown said: “As a good, oversubscribed school we are very pleased to give more opportunity for students to attend Stanborough in the future.”

Alongside the expansion of Stanborough, HCC has agreed to fund a multi-million pound extension to the school buildings.

Planning for this has already started and the new buildings will be in place for September 2019.

HCC will also be contributing £310,000 towards increasing the size of Tewin Cowper Primary School.

It is the only school in Tewin village and in recent years it has been close exceeding its maximum intake of 25 children - in 2016 the school took on two extra youngsters.

Terry Douris, cabinet member for Education, said: “We are committed to making sure that every child has a place at one of our great schools so they can reach their full potential. That means ensuring the right number of school places in the best location.

“We will continue to invest money to ensure that we’ve got the right facilities in the right places, and that includes school places.”