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Temporary classroom installed in 2015 set to remain at Bishop's Stortford primary school Hillmead

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A temporary classroom at Hillmead Primary School is set to be retained for the eighth year.

East Herts Council (EHC) has raised no objection to an extension of planning permission for the structure which was installed to accommodate a "bulge" class of 30 students at the school in Woburn Avenue, Bishop's Park, in 2015.

The approval expires on August 31 this year and local education authority (LEA) Hertfordshire County Council wants to keep the three-bay modular classroom until August 2023.

Hillmead Primary School serves the Bishop's Park estate
Hillmead Primary School serves the Bishop's Park estate

Hilllmead is a one-form-of-entry (1FE) school, which means it admits up to 30 children to reception each September.

However, in 2015, an additional 30 pupils were added to the roll "with the bulge class rippling through the school years until the children have left for secondary". The LEA said that without this accommodation there would have been insufficient primary places in the town.

The expansion exercise was repeated in 2016. A second temporary building was installed to teach 30 extra students over seven years.

A second temporary building was installed in 2016
A second temporary building was installed in 2016

In a statement to planning authority EHC, the county council says: "However, the school is currently oversubscribed across several school years and therefore to avoid disruption to teaching provision the existing modular classroom needs to be retained to ensure that enough teaching provision is available for pupils."

The LEA said retaining the accommodation for an extra year meant permission for both temporary structures would expire at the same time: "This would then be an appropriate time for the overall school needs to be assessed and for a strategic approach to be taken with regards to both modular buildings."

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