New school building to bring lessons out of the corridor and into the classroom
PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 October 2019
Children who struggle in mainstream education are being taught in corridors at an Exmouth primary school due to a lack of space.
This was the mitigation offered by Marpool Primary School headteacher Rachel Pattison who wants to construct a new building on the Moorfield Road site to help pupils who have social, economic and health needs.
Speaking at a town council planning meeting on Monday (September 30), she said the school currently does not have facilities for these children and being forced to utilise corridors to educate them.
Mrs Pattison said: "We are finding it increasingly challenging to manage the needs of all pupils.
"What happens in society is some children from our local community are being shipped out of Exmouth, at taxpayers' costs, and going to other areas to receive their education."
Amended plans for a new school building, which include the relocation of fire exits and the removal of a rear terrace, were supported by Exmouth Town Council's planning committee on Monday (September 30).
The committee, which previously had no objections to the original application, voted to support the updated plans.
Councillors raised concerns over possible increased parking pressure on neighbouring roads and the loss of green space at a primary school, but agreed to support the application.
Mrs Pattison added: "The proposal is for a base where we can educate the children in a homely environment to start with and then have four classrooms to transition them from home into a small school space and eventually mainstream education."
Cllr Frank Cullis opposed the plans, expressing concerns over anything that increases pupil intake at a primary school at a time when secondary education in Exmouth is at capacity.
He said: "Until we get plans for a new secondary school to be built, I can't approve of increasing the capacity of primary schools."
Cllr Brian Bailey said he fully supported the proposal.
He said: "I feel that there is a need for this facility in the town.
"I know of several people in the area who would benefit from this and I really think we should support this wholeheartedly."
East Devon District Council will make the final decision.