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Thomas Telford school looks to expand

By Dominic Robertson | Telford | Education | Published:

Thomas Telford School wants to take in an extra 100 pupils a year, it has been revealed.

Thomas Telford School

The school has launched a consultation on its plans which will last for four weeks.

In a letter sent to parents and other organisations affected, the school's governing board says it wants to increase the number of admissions because of the need for more secondary school places in the town, and because some applicants are not able to attend the school.

The consultation will conclude on June 29.

Currently the school can take in 182 pupils a year, but if it is given permission for the expansion it will be able to admit 286 pupils a year. The plans would also see the total number of sixth form pupils increase from 500 to 600.

A letter from Thomas Telford's headteacher, Sir Kevin Satchwell, outlined the plan. It states: "We wish to advise that the governing board of Thomas Telford School are launching a four week consultation regarding its intention to increase the admissions intake to the school. The consultation will commence with immediate effect and will end at noon on June 29.

"The reasons for the proposal are: The need for additional secondary school places in Telford, to offer more applicants the opportunity of gaining admission to the school, to fully utilise the additional building which is in the process of being acquired."

A number of groups have been sent notification of the plans, including local primary and secondary schools.

Telford & Wrekin Council spokesman, Russell Griffin said: "We are aware of this proposal and working with them to ensure that it fits into our overall plan for ensuring sufficient secondary school places for young people in Telford."

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Thomas Telford School is the lead school in the Thomas Telford Multi Academy Trust, which has three member schools, Walsall, Sandwell and Madeley Academies. It currently takes around half its pupils from the Wolverhampton area.

Thomas Telford and the trustees of the multi academy trust had wanted to create a new Telford Free School, but the plans were put on hold in October last year after changes in government policy.

They had applied to Education Secretary Justine Greening to open a 1,220 place school that would cater for primary, secondary and sixth form pupils, to meet an expected extra demand for places.

If it had won the green light the school would have been known as the Telford Free School and would have been part of the multi-academy trust.

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The application was withdrawn, but speaking last October Sir Kevin said it could be revisited if the policy changed.

The expansion plan by Thomas Telford School comes just a couple of weeks after Haberdashers' Adams grammar school in Newport revealed a £2m plan to bring extra pupil places. It would see it given a new teaching block and an increase of more than 150 pupils.

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