When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
Primary school hopes to take on 100 extra pupils
A HEADINGTON primary school will be able to cater for another 100 pupils if plans for expansion are granted.
If the scheme is approved, it will see the number of children in each year at St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School rise from 45 to 60.
In total, this would see the total number of pupils go up from 320 to 420.
St Joseph’s in Headley Way is run by Oxfordshire County Council.
The application was submitted by the county council on behalf of the school and the proposal includes the building of three new classrooms, a staff room, reception area and toilets. The council also wants to extend the school hall.
The garage and shed will be demolished and replaced on the school site.
The plan is being funded by the county council and the Birmingham diocese.
This September, the school took 60 pupils into its foundation year for the first time.
From next year, it hopes to have 60 pupils across all years.
Headteacher Sue Tomkys hoped the changes would mean the school would no longer have to turn away children because there were not enough places available.
Mrs Tomkys, who has been in the post for five years, said: “During the last four years we have been full and so haven’t been able to take in baptised Catholic children in the catchment area.
“This has meant children have had to travel to places like Wheatley as we just didn’t have enough space.”
While the school remains focused on providing spaces for Catholic children, Mrs Tomkys said the expansion would allow it to reach out to non-Catholics too.
She said: “There will be some opportunities, particularly in the older years, for non-Catholic children to get places here.
“I love teaching here. This is a special place to be and people who come here say it has got a very special atmosphere.”
The scheme has been subject to a consultation with the school governors, teaching staff, parents and children.
The school held an exhibition about the scheme on Wednesday, June 19, and the plan has been amended after feedback from the consultation.
St Joseph’s is one of several primary schools in Oxford earmarked for expansion to provide 500 extra places after a surge in births in the city four years ago.
County council spokesman Marcus Mabberley: “The expansion of St Joseph’s School is a joint application by the school and county council.
“The council’s cabinet in July agreed to the permanent expansion of the school, with effect from September 2014.
“The expansion would provide more spaces to help meet the growing demand for school places locally. The cost of the project will be finalised in due course.”
Comments are closed on this article.