At their next meeting on Wednesday 21 October, cabinet members will be asked to give their approval to begin the process of establishing a new primary school in the Barugh Green area.
This is resulting from the Barnsley West (MU1) Masterplan framework, which outlines a requirement for a significant number of additional school places.
Where a local authority has clear evidence that a new school needs to be established, statutory guidance places it under a duty to seek proposals to establish an academy (free school).
Where a council identifies the need for a new school, they must trigger a process called a presumption competition, as defined under Section 6A of the Education Act (2011). A competition is usually open for six to eight weeks and all applicants must be approved academy sponsors.
The report says that the Barnsley West (MU1) framework included a new primary school to meet future school place need, as a result of the 1,700 homes arising from the development. The land and money to build the school will be secured via S106 agreements with the developer. The council will aim to ensure low carbon design and build of the school, in keeping with the council’s zero carbon objectives.
All new schools must be academies which operate through multi-academy trusts. Currently, the presumption free school process is the only way to establish a new school through a competition run by the local authority, with support from the Regional Schools Commissioner.
If approval is given by cabinet to commence the competition process, the council must consult with stakeholders and interested parties affected by the proposals before launching this competition.
Cllr Margaret Bruff, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children’s Services, said: “We need to make sure that a primary school is available in Barugh Green to provide sufficient school places at the right time. This proposed competition will help us provide the best possible school and education we can for local children.”