A YORK secondary school is to get £6.5 million from the council to enable it to take in more students.

Fulford School is set to get the money to expand - with 70 extra pupils expected to attend the school from the new 647-home Germany Beck housing development.

The school currently has space for1,529 pupils - but is already expected to be struggling this academic year with 1,560 students on the roll.

Under the plans, the two-storey Hawking block would be part demolished to make way for a new three-storey building of 12 classrooms.

And the number of pupils in each year group would be able to increase to 300.

Building a new three-storey block means the building will not intrude on the existing playing field, the council hopes.

A City of York Council report says: "The substantial investment in this scheme will allow pupils to access significantly improved facilities, enable the school to deliver varied curriculum, providing pupils access to state of the art facilities and further widening their educational opportunities."

There is currently a shortage of classroom space for maths, English, business studies and ICT, it adds.

If the new building gets planning permission, would could start in June 2021 and be complete by September 2022.

But the report warns that the planning process has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

And the school will also need to consider if it has enough space to keep to coronavirus restrictions while also having building work done - meaning the project could be delayed.

Work to improve access to the site for school buses is also being considered and the council says it is discussing the plans with residents.

Cllr Ian Cuthbertson, executive member for education at the council, said: “Fulford School is understandably popular with local families.

"Considering how we can support the school in addressing the growing demand for places will help children and young people in the area both now and in the future.”

Steve Lewis, headteacher at Fulford School and South York Multi Academy Trust chief executive, said: "If approved, this additional funding would give us the opportunity to continue to serve our local community by providing enough school places for the growing demand in our catchment area.

"We have a long tradition of excellence and good quality accommodation fit for purpose in a 21st century education system will enable us to continue to provide a great education for generations to come.”

The funding will be discussed at a council meeting on Thursday.