ONE of York's most popular secondary schools could get £1 million to create extra places.

Fulford School, could receive a £1m funding boost to help it accommodate extra pupils and improve access to the school site, if agreed by City of York Council’s Executive next month (May 7).

The council has a statutory duty under the 1996 Education Act to ensure a sufficient supply of good/outstanding school places in its local area.

The proposed project with Fulford School and the South York Multi Academy Trust would result in an additional 30 places being made available at the Ofsted rated ‘outstanding’ school for the start of the 2020/21 academic year, taking the total intake to 270 pupils.

If approved, the £500,000 re-modelling work would enable all the pupils from within the school’s catchment area who have requested a place to be accommodated in September.

The proposal would also enable changes to the school’s lunchtime arrangements, allowing for the introduction of a split lunch hour to ease the pressure on existing dining facilities. This will also respond to the challenges created by the phased re-opening of schools and continued social distancing requirements, which will require schools to have sufficient space to manage pupil numbers differently The proposed re-modelling work would provide a short term solution to address the immediate need for the 2020 Year 7 cohort. A second phase of the capital plan, to meet the needs of the 2021/22 school year and beyond, is currently being developed.

The Executive will also be asked to approve funding of £550,000 to address the ongoing access issues to the school. The proposed changes to the access are now possible because of the new road up to the school’s southern boundary, which was built as part of the Germany Beck development.

Final proposals will be subject to a public consultation, but could involve school buses accessing the school site via Fulfordgate to the north, significantly reducing the number of buses using the road.

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, City of York Council, said: “Fulford School is an ‘outstanding’ school and is justifiably popular with parents and pupils. I’m pleased that we are able to consider options to respond to the growing demand for pupils from within the catchment area to be able attend their local school, as well as addressing long-standing access issues.”

Steve Lewis, Fulford head, said: “We remain committed to supporting our community by doing all we can to provide school places for children within catchment. This will only be possible with the expansion of the school. We continue to work closely with CYC to enable this to happen and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them for the benefit of the pupils and parents / carers of York.”