Extension plans approved for St Wilfrid's RC College in South Shields to help meet demand for places

A South Tyneside school is set to benefit from new facilities following a decision by council planners.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 5:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 7:44 pm
The extra space will help St Wilfrid's cope with pupil demand

Earlier this year, plans were lodged with South Tyneside Council for a building extension at St Wilfrid’s RC College.

This aimed to pave the way for six new teaching classrooms and extra dining space to help the school adapt to increased demand for places.

The secondary school and sixth form, which sits off Temple Park Road, was converted to academy status in 2016 and rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in its most recent inspection.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

According to planning documents, due to its “outstanding reputation and consistently high performance,” the school has been oversubscribed in the main year of entry over the last four years.

To respond to this, the school aims to increase pupil numbers to 1,490, although staff numbers would not change.

Following consultation, South Tyneside Council’s planning department approved the school extension plans on March 5, 2021.

Alongside new classrooms and extra dining space, the scheme includes new circulation space and staircases, extra toilet provision and new soft landscaping / planters.

Planning documents add that funding for the scheme is being provided primarily through the Department for Education’s ‘condition improvement fund.’

In addition, measures would be put in place to reduce disruption to the school during construction works.

A decision report prepared by council planners adds: “The application site is part of an existing school complex.

“Subject to the schedule of conditions (which the applicant’s agent has seen and raised no objections to) including relating to construction hours, anupdated travel plan, the provision of cycle parking, contamination, surface water drainage and soft landscaping […] it is considered that the proposal would accord with development plan policies.

“It is therefore an acceptable form of development.”

The improvements came after the Bishop Chadwick Catholic Education Trust has outlined planned work at two schools thanks to £2.4million funding from the Department of Education’s Condition Improvement Fund.

An investment of £1.5million was allocated for St Wilfrid’s.

For more information on the application, visit South Tyneside Council’s ‘planning portal’ and search planning reference: ST/0955/20/FUL

Support your Gazette and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.