Is Exmouth ‘long overdue’ another secondary school?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 23 September 2020


Exmouth is ‘long overdue’ a new secondary school according to town councillor Frank Cullis.

Speaking during a virtual planning meeting on Monday (September 14), Cllr Cullis called for another secondary school to be built in the town while discussing an application from Exmouth Community College for a new three-storey building.

If approved, an existing building on the Green Close campus would be demolished to make way for the building.

Cllr Cullis said the application for new building at the community college was a ‘sticking plaster’ to solve the problem of increasing pupil numbers.

Devon County Council, which decides whether new schools are needed and where, said it is helping to fund the new building at the community college due to a peak in student numbers which it expects to ‘level off’ in the future.

Cllr Cullis said: “In my opinion in terms of secondary education has been sold short for a long time.

“The amount of open green space on the community college site is pretty shameful really and I think our kids deserve better.

“Every time this committee, and EDDC too, approve a new house, that’s possibly a new pupil requiring secondary education.

“It was said a while ago that the comp (community college) had the highest number of pupils of any school in the whole of Europe – I don’t know if that’s true, but it suggests to me that a new secondary school is overdue.”

He recommended the town council supports the community college proposal with a ‘heavy heart’ to ensure pupils get the education they deserve, a motion which was carried in the meeting.

A spokesman for Devon County Council said: “We are continually reviewing pupil numbers across Devon to ensure there are sufficient places in our schools.

“In Exmouth we are currently helping to fund new purpose-built accommodation at the college.

“That’s because there is a peak in student numbers. However, careful scrutiny of new housing provision and birth rates indicate that those numbers will level off in the future.

“We plan on the basis of 0.15 secondary student for every new home built and this is a tried and tested formula that has enabled us to provide sufficient school places for pupils across our very diverse county from large urban areas to rural villages.”

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