Shrewsbury primary schools co-locating to make way for new secondary
Two Shrewsbury primary schools are set to co-locate in order to make way for a new secondary school site.
Shropshire Council has agreed to move Sundorne Infant School on to the Harlescott Pimary School site in Featherbed Lane, freeing up the site in Corndon Crescent.
Shrewsbury Academy, which is run by the Marches Academy Trust, will then move onto the former infant school site.
Karen Bradshaw, director of children’s services at Shropshire Council, said it is an exciting time for education provision in the north of the town.
She said: "The forecast demand for education provision in the Sundorne primary catchment area will require the area’s two primaries – Sundorne Infant and Harlescott Junior – to move to four forms of entry from the current three. This will require the expansion of existing provision by an additional seven class bases – three in the infant school and four in the junior school.
"To address this, various options have been considered by Shropshire Council together with the Marches Academy Trust and the Haughmond Federation, and it was agreed that the preferred option is to co-locate the Sundorne Infant School and Harlescott Primary School onto a single site. This will allow the trust to concentrate secondary provision on a single site, utilising the current infant school site."
It comes after it was revealed several sites were being considered for a new Shrewsbury Academy - including the playing fields at Shrewsbury Sport Village in Sundorne, which caused concerns among local residents.
Ms Bradhsaw added: "In cost terms, the chosen option is not the lowest cost. However, it provides the best opportunity to deliver improved educational outcomes by consolidating primary and secondary provision on single sites, securing a sustainable provision of education in the north of the town, and investing in one of the town’s more disadvantaged communities. The federation and trust leaders have indicated significant support in the community for this option."
Councillor Kevin Pardy, who hosted a public meeting against the playing fields being built on and launched a petition which was signed hundreds of times, said it is a relief to finally have assurance from the council.
"The pitches have been used since I think 1947 when an agricultural show began," he said.
"A lot of generations have used the pitches for playing football or other activities. It's the only piece of green we have got left now.
"If I'm honest, when I first heard that the pitches might be built on, I didn't have much hope but the outcome is absolutely brilliant. The community have really showed what can be done when we all pull together."