New primary school plan for Halifax High to cater for growing numbers

Halifax High School at Wellesley Park, Halifax.
Halifax High School at Wellesley Park, Halifax.

A major expansion of Halifax High is on the timetable to cater for the growing demand for primary places in the town.

Calderdale Council is considering creating a “through school” at the site in Highroad Well to accommodate children from reception age up to 16-year-old to address the demand for primary places.

Cabinet will meet on Monday to discuss the best way to accommodate the growing number of children who will be reaching primary school age.

The provision of a ‘through school’ at Halifax High is seen as the most viable option, as it allows for expansion on existing council land, creating an innovative school system which will begin to address the predicted need for primary school places in central Halifax.

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Service, Coun Megan Swift, said: “We are planning ahead to make sure that the Council is in position to meet our legal duty to provide sufficient school places for children. We know we are facing a significant growth in the number of children requiring a place, so it is important that we are addressing this issue in advance.

“If the proposals for Halifax High School are approved, the new, modern facility will contribute to Calderdale’s priority that all children enjoy learning and achieve their best, and stay in education and get a job.

“Halifax High is a rapidly improving school, and was recently rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted. Creating a ‘through school’ taking children from reception to 16 will also give us the opportunity to model a new approach to tackling the issues some students face when transferring between schools at 11.

“This is part of a number of proposed investments in our schools being brought forward by Cabinet”

According to birth rate figures provided by the NHS, it is estimated that in September 2014, 775 children will be seeking places in schools with a current capacity of 633.

The significant increase in the birth rate nationally is reflected in Calderdale. This, along with factors such as migration and new housing, has led to a shortage of primary school places, particularly in central Halifax.