School’s extra ‘bulge’ class could cost county £2million

View - Wendover C of E Junior School
View - Wendover C of E Junior School

A school’s additional ‘bulge’ intake of 30 children could cost Bucks County Council £2million to accommodate.

The council’s school commissioning department has submitted plans for a new hall, TV room and toilets at John Hampden infant school, while there will also be classroom extensions at Wendover CofE School, where the children will move on to.

In September, John Hampden took in an additional ‘bulge’ class of 30 children to meet current demand for places in the area.

The bulge class will move through the school before moving up to the junior school – which is on the same site in Wharf Road, Wendover – in 2017 at the end of Year 2.

If the plans get the go ahead, the footprint of both schools will increase by 346.2sqm to meet the needs of all its children.

Currently, the existing classrooms at Wendover CofE have been regarded as ‘undersized’, so the three rooms that are set to be extended by 55sqm each will allow extra space for the current pupils rather than specifically for the bulge class.

Though Wendover CofE already has its own hall, the proposed new hall at John Hampden Infants will house the school’s existing breakfast and after school club, which is also attended by pupils from the junior school.

The new development will be built on existing playground space, but children won’t lose out as a new play area will be rebuilt elsewhere on site.

Bucks County Council’s school commissioning strategy manager Paula Campbell Balcombe said: “Some internal temporary adaptations have already been made at John Hampden to accommodate the children until such time as the new accommodation is built. This will also be the case at Wendover CofE.

Ms Campbell Balcombe said additional staff parking will be created on the John Hampden site.

“The junior school already has ample staff parking within its site to accommodate any increase when the bulge moves through to the Junior School.”

Wendover CofE headteacher Gareth Mirams said: “We are excited by the proposed development of Wendover CE Junior School.

“As the demand for primary school places increases, we are working with the local authority and the local infant school, John Hampden, to ensure that our children have the best facilities and opportunities we can offer.

“The initial plans are highly sympathetic to the needs of the school and will improve both our teaching areas and communal space.”

In October, there were 298 pupils on the roll at John Hampden and 355 at Wendover CofE.

The planning application is due to be considered by the Aylesbury Vale District Council’s planning committee on Monday.