Baby boom fuels rise in school starts

RISE: Julie Webster, headteacher at Queen's Drive school in Fulwood
RISE: Julie Webster, headteacher at Queen's Drive school in Fulwood
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A school in Preston is building an extra classroom to cope with a baby boom due to begin school in September.

As the deadline to apply for reception places draws near, parents are choosing their preferences for their four and five-year-olds to start their school life in September.

But after a bumper birth rate in 2009/10, Lancashire County Council needs to provide an extra 32 school places in the city.

Queen’s Drive Primary School, in Black Bull Lane, Fulwood, is building a temporary classroom to accommodate the children.

Headteacher Julie Webster said: “There was a rise in the local birthrate in 2009, so in September 2014, for one year only, we’re increasing our reception intake from 60 to 90.

“We have worked with Lancashire County Council to look at what extra accommodation we will need, and we are to have a very attractive timber clad single-storey classroom building. We are looking forward to welcoming our new pupils and are pleased that we were able to help.”

In September 2013, schools in the Preston North district admitted 436 children into the reception year but Lancashire County Council predicts an intake of 468 pupils starting school in September 2014, based on birth rate and migration statistics.

It is anticipated this will drop back down to 401 reception children the following September.

Mum-of-three Jenny Jones, whose daughters Hollie, 10, and Megan, seven, attend Queen’s Drive primary school also plans to send her daughter Daisy, four, to the school.

She said: “It is worrying me as 90 is a lot. I think Daisy will be fine as being a third child she’s laid back. I just hope it doesn’t affect learning or missing out especially as she goes through the school.

“In all honesty if Hollie and Megan didn’t all ready go to the school I would be looking at different options but Queen’s Drive is a fantastic school. I’m sure Daisy will be fine.”

Parents applying for reception places for the 2014 intake have until January 15 to submit their applications, with allocations on April 16.

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