New proposal for schooling in our district is unveiled
We have unveiled a new proposal for schooling in the district.
Our proposal is part of ongoing work to secure high-quality school places in local areas where they are needed most.
Our latest plan involves Mount Pleasant Primary School, Huddersfield, which is in poor condition and is due to be rebuilt on its current site by the national Education Funding Agency (EFA).
It was originally planned that Mount Pleasant would move temporarily to a neighbouring site, but a different way forward is now being proposed.
Our new proposal is that temporary provision will instead be created in Mount Pleasant’s existing grounds.
What will happen if the proposal is passed?
This would involve using the school’s Multi Use Games Area to install modern modular classrooms.
Some of the children would move into the modulars, enabling the existing junior block to be demolished and replaced with a new build school.
The rest of the school would remain in the other buildings on site during the construction period before everyone transferred to the new school.
This means that children would continue attending school in a place they know well whilst the new school is built.
Once the school was rebuilt – at a cost to the EFA of around £8-10million – the temporary facilities would be removed and the school grounds would be re-landscaped.
In total, the decant and rebuild would last around 20 months, starting in September this year.
We are working closely with the school, the EFA and the building contractor Kier.
Cllr Shabir Pandor, our cabinet member for Schools and Learning, said:
It is crucial that we find a way to decant Mount Pleasant so that the school can be rebuilt for current and future pupils.
The chance to have a brand new building, funded by the EFA, is a once-in-a-generation opportunity
Creating temporary facilities on the same site is clearly the best way forward, not just financially – and the new proposal does offer significantly better value for money – but also in the interests of children and families.
Kier are experienced in constructing a major building when there is already an existing school on the same site. We are all determined to make this work for the local community.
Of course the safety of pupils, families, staff and visitors would be a huge priority during this period.
The school would operate on a restricted site while the work took place, but we would support them to maintain their high standards of care and education.
Whilst everyone acknowledges there are logistical issues, these are outweighed by the huge advantages of having a brand new school.
At the moment, Mount Pleasant is listed as one of the 250 worst condition schools in the country – we are determined to play a key role in its transformation.”
A decision on whether to create temporary modular provision on the existing Mount Pleasant site – in Mount Street, Lockwood – will be made by Cabinet members on Tuesday March 8.
No decisions are being made at this stage on whether the school’s clock tower will be retained or demolished.
How will it benefit the area?
Once rebuilt, Mount Pleasant Primary will accommodate 630 pupils and 39 nursery children.
The places will complement those of our other local schools in South West Huddersfield, where there is a growing demand for primary places.
We have already agreed to build a brand new, 630-place school in Dryclough Road, Crosland Moor, which will be operated by Moor End Academies Trust.
We are also bringing together three existing schools – Thornton Lodge Nursery, Dryclough CE (VC) Infants and Crosland Moor Juniors – to form one primary, using their existing buildings and facilities.
Cllr Pandor added:
We have a huge commitment to achieving excellence across our schools system in Kirklees.
A lot of tremendous work is under way and, despite huge funding cuts from central government, we are investing heavily to raise standards even higher for children, young people and families.”