Update October 2022: Belgrave Primary School and The Learning Trust are still in discussions with Cheshire West and Chester regarding the possible submission of a Significant Change Application.
Significant Change Application - Belgrave Satellite Expansion
Consultation on Belgrave Primary School’s significant change application for a physical expansion onto a satellite site and to formally amend the school’s age range.
Belgrave Primary School (BPS) is consulting on a significant change application to the Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC) acting on behalf of the Secretary of State for Education. The application outlines a proposal to expand Belgrave Primary School onto a satellite site on Kings Moat Garden Village Development, Wrexham Road, Chester located approximately 0.8 miles away from the current school site.
Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) is the strategic commissioner of school provision and has a duty to ensure there are enough school places for the residents within its Borough. The Council has identified a need for additional school places in response to the housing developments on Kings Moat Garden Village Development, Wrexham Road. Belgrave Primary School and The Learning Trust (of which Belgrave Primary school is a part) are working collaboratively with the Council to ensure there is a co-ordinated approach to place planning and delivery within the area.
Collectively we believe it is vitally important that any development and creation of additional places must contribute to the cohesion and sustainability of the local primary school economy. For this reason, CWaC believes a satellite proposal will achieve this, whilst continuing to build upon the high-quality of education the school offers.
Why are we consulting on the proposed satellite school?
The Council has identified a satellite proposal as its preferred choice to meet the future demand in additional places whilst ensuring there is a balance between the availability of places, the sustainability of every school and in best meeting parental preference. Although this proposed change was instigated by the Council, and following a request for Expressions of interest, the school that best met the Department for Education satellite criteria is Belgrave Primary School and, as such, our Multi-Academy Trust must now progress through the formal significant change process.
The expansion will provide the necessary creation of new school places in both the primary and early years phases. The satellite expansion will provide an expected additional 1.5 forms of entry, which it is expected would expand Belgrave Primary School’s Published Admission Number (PAN) from 30 to 75. Early Years Foundation Stage provision is expected to accommodate children aged 3-4. Cheshire West and Chester Council identified the need for additional places from analysis of the future need for school places as a result of an additional 1400 dwellings from strategic housing development, Kings Moat Garden Village, Wrexham Road. The exact number of pupils will be defined by actual demographics at time of build. The planned opening for the satellite provision is anticipated to be September 2024 at the earliest. However this based on an assumed delivery rate of occupied houses on the development and therefore may be subject to change.
The satellite will constitute a genuine continuance of the academy, replicating the ethos, values, and high standards of education and will be run by the current Senior leadership team and Local Governing Body.
The new site will form a natural extension of the current school’s existing facilities and will be fully integrated into the life of the school. Belgrave Primary is the closest school to the site with no other local schools being passed in reaching the satellite site. There is just a short distance between the existing school site and the new site which is essential in ensuring the expansion will be fully integrated into the life of the school rather than forming a separate establishment.
We will look to explore the best and most efficient ways to provide education for 3-11 years olds across both sites. Belgrave Primary School will operate as a split site and is planning to house Early Years Foundation stage and lower school years on one site, with upper years on the other.
The school will ensure a cohesive approach across the two sites through actively promoting movement of pupils when promoting extra-curricular activities. In this way, all pupils within Belgrave Primary School – whether at the new or current site – will have the opportunity to get to know and learn from each other, nurturing a sense of belonging. The short distance between the two sites will promote sustainable travel and will serve both existing and new communities.
The priority of the oversubscription criteria will remain unchanged, including maintaining the same distance criteria and plotted point for prioritising applications, albeit that the PAN is planned to increase to 75. To cover the housing development that the satellite provision intends to serve, we will look to add a new catchment area to Belgrave's current catchment, which will be shared with Dodleston Church of England Primary School.
Cheshire West and Chester Council have secured funding for the build cost to provide the additional primary school places through a developer contribution (section 106). Belgrave will also ensure that disruption to existing school provision and the local community will be minimal, and that the provision will be sustainable.
How can I give my views?
We value the views and opinions of parents/carers and any other member of the community we serve. For this reason, we are holding two events in which members of the community will be invited to ask questions and are also running an online survey.
The consultation will run from 12 noon on Monday 6th June 2022 to Monday 4th July 2022:
- We will be running a face-to-face event at Belgrave Primary School on Wednesday 15th June 2022, from 1 pm to 3 pm.
- We will also run an online Q&A on Teams on Wednesday 22nd June 2022, from 11 am to 12 noon.
We have now added an additional consultation drop in session on Monday 20th June 5.00pm - 6.00pm.
To attend any event, please express your interest by emailing email@example.com and we will make sure to send you the details prior to the event.
This will be an opportunity to meet members of the School Leadership Team, The Learning Trust, and representative of Chester and Cheshire West Council, and ask any questions you may have.
We invite you to share your views by filling our online survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BelgraveConsultation
The consultation process – indicative timetable
Monday 6th June 2022 (noon) – 4 weeks public consultation period, an extra week added to consider half term
Monday 4th July 2022 (noon) – The consultation ends.
Monday 13th July 2022 – Belgrave Primary Governing Body will review the Consultation response and confirm whether the formal application is submitted to the Regional Schools Commissioner.
Friday 17th July 2022 onwards – Subject to governor approval, the application is submitted to the Regional Schools Commissioner and is processed.