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Wheatcroft School Expansion

The Issue: Wheatcroft Primary School in Hertford plans to raise its reception intake by 2011. To accommodate the new pupils, the school will need to use the former Pines school playing field.

The Facts: There has been an increase in number of under 5s in Hertford. If no action is taken there will not be enough reception places by 2011. Herts County Council (the local authority responsible for education in Hertfordshire) urgently needs to create extra school places.

The Council plans to increase reception places at the school from 45 to 60.

The school currently does not have adequate space for new pupils. The Council suggests using the former Pines school playing field as a playing area and to build additional classrooms.

The Case For: Herts County Council has identified Wheatcroft Primary School as a suitable location for expansion since it is in an area of growth.

The expansion of the school is vital as without it, some children may be left without a place.

Herts County Council notes that the Former Pines school playing field is not public land and is owned by the Council. Residents are not being robbed of green spaces.

The Case Against: The former Pines school playing field is well loved by local residents. The Pinehurst Community Association campaigned rigorously in 2006 and 2007 to keep the field as a recreational area for residents.

A local campaign group, Your Pinehurst, has been set up against the expansion. Their main objection is the loss of the green space to the local community. They also argue that the creation of an additional 15 spaces is simply not enough,  the school is already oversubscribed.

Teachers at Wheatcroft School support an expansion, but they would prefer to expand the school in the former Hertford police station site.

Have Your Say: Herts County Council is currently running a public consultation on the proposed expansion. They invite members of the public to share their views and opinions. The consultation ends on the 8th December 2009.

03/04/2010 - 13:42 by Anonymous

if it is decided that the school should be expanded it must be done with minimum impact to current residents and also to the children currently being educated within the school. you must also manage the expansion to be completly cohesive with the current school as otherwise you will end up with a school like morgans walk which although is a lovely school is is in my opinion and many others just too vast and confusing an area. it makes it very difficult to integrate both building with any great success of feeling integrated it still looks very much like 2 seperate schools. it is true there is a need for more school spaces but not at the detriment of the kids needing these places and at the cost of just rushing in and shoving up random buildings all over the place and saying that makes them part of a school.

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