St Peter and St Paul Primary School in Eye may double in size
A primary school in Eye could potentially double in size by 2029.
St Peter and St Paul Primary School, which is part of the All Saints School Trust, is currently at capacity with 210 pupils.
The proposed developments of 280 potential houses in Eye could mean that the school would not be able to accommodate any significant growth in population in its current size.
Chair of Trustees, James Hargrave, said: “The initial expansion is to increase the capacity to 315 pupils. To increase it further depends on the number of houses that are built. We have a master plan that means that we could expand to 420 pupils.”
Calling it a “great opportunity”, the Trust assures that there won’t be any significant changes for current pupils or parents.
“It could mean that, if anything, class sizes are likely to become slightly smaller. An average primary school in England and Wales is a two form entry primary school with 420 children. So making the school bigger makes it more sustainable. We don’t think that the school would feel any different for parents or children. It would still be a local school without it becoming too massive,” said Mr Hargrave.
At an extraordinary town council meeting, Gary Rowland, a co-opted member of the Neighbourhood Steering Group, said that he supported the idea of another primary school.
“We think that would be a really bad thing for Eye, unless you had enough children to fill both schools. Otherwise both will struggle for money and resources,” said Mr Hargrave.
“There is a dropping number of children in north Suffolk. Without additional houses being built, we think that the school’s numbers would drop off in the next ten years quite significantly. So if you built another school, not only would that be damaging to Eye Primary School but it could be a threat to other small schools like Occold and Mellis.”
The initial expansion, which could start as early as 2021, would include new classrooms and social space, parking, a drop-off and pick-up point and pathways, to encourage pupils to walk or cycle to school.
The Trust will organise a meeting with parents later this year, to explain the plans and discuss any concerns parents might have.