All change for primary schools on north side of Rugby

A combination of falling numbers and plans for a new school will see a rejig of existing schools to the north of Rugby.

Brownsover Community School in Webb Drive and, inset, Cllr Kam Kaur. Photos: Google Street View/Warwickshire County Council
Brownsover Community School in Webb Drive and, inset, Cllr Kam Kaur. Photos: Google Street View/Warwickshire County Council

A consultation on plans to change the age range of Brownsover Community School – currently infants only – was revealed by the Rugby Advertiser in April.

A report considered then highlighted the pressure to do something to ensure the case for the new Griffin School, to be sponsored by Lawrence Sheriff School, was not undermined: “As a result of decreasing cohort numbers in the local area, this proposal looks to provide reassurance to the DfE in relation to the opening of new provision and the potential impact on existing schools. This is required to ensure the funding agreement for the Griffin School is signed and the school can open.”

Warwickshire County Council's cabinet has now approved proposals to make the changes at Brownsover Community to cover ages 3 to 11.

This will see it take in fewer children to each year group from September 2023. It will go from a two-form entry infant school to a one-form entry primary, lowering the number of children in each year group to 30 but eventually offering education across seven year groups rather than the current three.

Education bosses say the school will eventually build back up to exceed its current total of 180 pupils when it is an all-though primary with seven one-form entry year groups of 30 pupils each.

They believe this will safeguard the future of school, in Webb Drive on the Boughton Vale side of Newton Manor Lane, using financial modelling which shows it will be more sustainable as a one-form entry primary.

They say both it and Boughton Leigh Infant School, in Wetherell Way on the south side of Newton Manor Lane, have been under pressure following a decrease in birth cohort numbers in the area in recent years resulting in reduced numbers on roll at both schools.

This comes at a time when The Griffin School, a one-form entry primary will increase pupil capacity in the area when it opens in September 2023 on the Gateway development on the opposite side of the A426.

To support the proposals, capital works are required to provide a Key Stage 2 learning environment and achieve the minimum classroom size guidelines and ancillary space. This additional classroom space will be achieved by the remodelling of existing internal space. The £0.965m cost was approved by the council’s cabinet through £0.509m developer funding and £0.456m from the county council’s education capital grant.

The Community school will take its first influx of year three pupils in September 2026. In the interim years, children will still leave year 2 and go to Boughton Leigh Junior School. Following that change in 2026, Boughton Leigh Infant and Boughton Leigh Junior admission numbers will align.

Cllr Kam Kaur, the county’s portfolio holder for education, said: “Changing the age range at Brownsover Community Infant School is a simple measure but makes terrific use of public money. It relieves pressure on existing schools in the short term and allows them to change their offer so that they can be sustained and add resilience to our local educational offer in coming years when numbers go back up. Residents will benefit from the wider choice and increased quality of education.”