Proposal for two new schools for Eastbourne

Nick Bennett2TWO new primary schools accommodating more than 800 children could be built on secondary school sites in Eastbourne under plans being considered by education chiefs.

Cllr Nick Bennett, East Sussex County Council lead member for learning and school effectiveness (pictured), is recommended to agree for officers to progress the plans at his next lead member meeting on Monday, March 24 2014.

The proposals would see a new two-form entry primary school built on the Cavendish School site, in Eldon Road, which is likely be to be a free school run by the academy trust behind the secondary school.

Meanwhile, Cllr Bennett is also recommended to support the further investigation of a second two-form entry primary school on the Ratton School site, in Park Avenue, subject to the outcome of a study assessing the feasibility of such a scheme.

The plan to establish a primary school on the Cavendish site would replace previously approved proposals to expand St Andrew’s CE Infant School, in Winchelsea Road, and Tollgate Community Junior School, in Winston Crescent.

An East Sussex County Council spokesman said: “At present, we are forecasting a significant shortfall for primary school places in Eastbourne which could last into the next decade. We need to take action now to ensure we have sufficient places in the future.

“If the lead member approves these proposals, the new school would still have to be subject to a consultation process, planning approval and, in the case of establishing a free school, permission by the secretary of state for education.”

The proposed new school on the Cavendish site would accommodate 420 pupils while a new school on the Ratton site would be of a similar size.

The council reconsidered its plan to expand St Andrew’s and Tollgate, which would provide 210 additional places, following concerns about the constraints of the St Andrew’s site and about what was possible within the budget available.

Funding to build a primary school on the Cavendish site, at an initial estimated cost of £7 million to £8 million, has been set aside in the council’s recently approved capital programme.

If the plans are approved, the first new primary school would be expected to open by September 2015.

The papers for the lead member meeting on Monday can be viewed at