Residents are getting the chance to have a say about plans to transform education on the Shepshed Schools Campus over the next three years.
A six-week consultation, launched by the Leicestershire county council, is seeking views on a number of proposed changes to Iveshead School and St Botolphs Primary School, which are all based on the same site off Forest Street, as well as the development of further school places for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
The schemes are estimated to cost around £17.5m and funded jointly by the county council and a Department for Education grant.
Leicestershire County Council says the proposals will help meet demand for school places arising from new housing developments in the area as well as the need for further SEND places.
The proposals are set out in stages and include:
Building a six-classroom block extension and adapting Iveshead School for secondary school pupils. This development will allow pupils to move from two separate buildings (secondary and high school) spread over the site into one dedicated school. This first stage will enable the school to open for the start of the 2021-22 academic year.
The second stage will see the former high school building transformed into a state of the art 630-place school for St Botolphs Primary School. This stage will be complete in early summer 2022 and the school will gradually increase places available in the following years to grow its capacity from 280 to 630 places.
The final stage will see the Department for Education (DfE) build a new 50-place school on the current St Botolphs school site for children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.
Deborah Taylor, cabinet member for children and families said: "Developing more school places for children of all ages and abilities, particularly those having SEND, is an absolutely key priority of the council and these proposals would help to meet growing demand in Shepshed.
“We want all children to have access to first-class local schools and we remain committed to creating more places where there is a need to do so.
Matthew Parrott, head teacher at Iveshead School said: "Iveshead welcomes the reorganisation of the campus. The plans will provide an education centre-piece for Shepshed and the surrounding community.”.
Emma Pepper, head teacher at St Botolph's Primary School said: "We are so excited to be part of this project. We are looking forward to working closely with the local authority and our school community in the transformation of St Botolph's Primary into a Primary school that will create the much needed places for the children of Shepshed."
The first two stages of the building and refurbishment work relating to Iveshead and St Botolphs Schools will be carried out by construction firm Willmott Dixon and the new SEMH school will be built by contractors appointed by the DfE.
Nick Heath, delivery director for Willmott Dixon said: "We are pleased to be delivering these schemes for Leicestershire County Council and the local community, contributing to the much-needed school places for local children.
“These projects are the latest in a number of schools that Willmott Dixon and Leicestershire County Council have collaborated on. We would like to thank all of those involved for their commitment in getting these schemes underway despite Covid-19, so that young people on the surrounding new housing developments can go to school nearby."