Multi-million pound investment to boost school places in borough

Westleigh High School pupils with head teacher John Banks and Lord Peter Smith

Westleigh High School pupils with head teacher John Banks and Lord Peter Smith

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A MULTI-million pound investment programme aims to create hundreds of new school places in the borough.

Wigan Council has announced plans to spend more than £38 million on improving education, upgrading schools and creating more school places, including at Westleigh High School in Leigh.

The plan will go before Wigan Council’s cabinet today, Thursday, and if approved the funding would come from the council’s own funds for school spending and a series of government grants.

Clr Susan Loudon, Wigan Council cabinet member for children and young people, said: “We’re seeing increasing demand for places and our projections suggest this trend is likely to continue for some time.

“It’s essential we act now to ensure we have enough space for those children who want a place. This is the start of a comprehensive plan to ensure we have capacity in the right areas.”

The money would pay for extra school spaces, converting any primary schools spread over two sites on to single sites and ensuring all primary schools can take children from reception age through to year six.

Although some of the £38m would be used to rebuild those schools most in need of refurbishment, the majority of the money would go towards addressing the growing number of children requiring school places.

A recent surge in demand for school places means steps are required to increase school capacity to ensure there are sufficient secondary school places across the borough by 2017.

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