Chichester school expanding

A rising birth rate means a popular Chichester primary school will be taking on more pupils this September.

The news comes ahead of Parklands Community Primary School’s 40th anniversary next year and heralds a new and exciting chapter in the school’s life.

As well as the appointment of new headteacher Alesa Henham, Parklands has been given funding for two new classes, with more than 30 children starting at the beginning of the next academic year.

Chairman of the school’s board of governors, Paul Little said the school had a proven track record in implementing change and was asked by education authority West Sussex County Council to take on extra children for September 2012 and 2013, which it agreed to.

Parklands has been over-subscribed during the past few years, and the extra funding will allow it to recruit new staff and introduce more resources.

The governors’ plan is for Parklands to become a two-form entry school with an intake facility for up to 60 reception-aged children.

The second additional class will mean each year group having its own separate form, which the school said would ‘further enhance the learning experience for existing pupils’.

Headteacher Alesa Henham said: “I am proud and delighted that Parklands has been selected for expansion.

“The plans are the result of a growing local population, but as well as easing the pressure on the local authority there is now also potential for the additional classes to become enduring fixtures.

“While there are several factors that such permanency depends on – the birth rate in future years, the progress of plans for the proposed Free School and local housing development projects – the way is now paved for Parklands to continue to build on its achievements.

“It is an extremely positive and exciting way to approach our 40th anniversary.”

Mr Little said: “We have worked hard to create a thriving school community and appointed an excellent headteacher to continue our progress.

“We are really pleased to return to a seven-form school and delighted at the opportunity to welcome even more children.

“We are confident they will love our school and thrive here, benefiting as they will from our high-quality flexible early-years environment.”

The school said until the trend in birth rate was known, it would not know whether it would be funded to build a permanent extension.

In the meantime a double temporary classroom will be provided to house the two new classes.