School’s expansion plans welcomed


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Children at St Peter’s C of E Primary School are set to benefit from new, 21st century accommodation, after major expansion plans were announced.

Six new purpose-built classrooms are planned for the school, with the scheme set to use the neighbouring drill hall site.

The plan is for the classrooms to be built in stages, with the first two opening in September 2015, and the rest being built as funding becomes available.

The school currently has five permanent and four mobile classrooms, and the mobile units will be replaced through this project.

The scheme will also allow the school to take on extra pupils, in view of major building projects which are on the way in Budleigh.

Headteacher Malcolm Elliot said: “We are going to be in some much better accommodation which will impact on the children’s learning and wellbeing.

“Our standards, whether in good classrooms or not, are good anyway, so I’m not anticipating great strides in standards, but I am on pupil wellbeing and just having more space, and the accommodation will be more appropriate for children in the 21st century.”

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The school currently has places for 240 pupils, plus a 52-place nursery, but from September 2014 will see its reception intake increase from 35 to 40, eventually giving it 35 more pupils.

The intake could then increase to 45 in the long term.

The planning application for the school went before Budleigh Salterton Town Council this week, and councillors said they were happy to support it.

Councillor Tom Wright said: “I think we welcome this addition to our school. It’s showing, if you like, a sound future for the school, which will now better welcome new pupils, especially in view of 100 or so houses being built [in Budleigh].

Deputy mayor Caz Sismore-Hunt said: “For a long time we have been approving portable buildings here and portable buildings there, and I’m delighted to see at last we are getting permanent fixtures.”

East Devon District Council will now consider the plan.