Poole has 40 schools across all phases, including two selective schools.
School place planning
In common with many other local authorities, the Borough of Poole has had a rapid rise in pupil numbers. The greatest pressure has come from a rise in birth rates and from people moving to Poole from other areas. There has also been a good deal of development in parts of the town and this is set to continue during the next decade.
New junior school
As planned to help meet the demand for school places in central Poole, Ocean Academy Poole opened in September 2015. The Borough of Poole’s building programme was completed on time and the building was handed over to Aspirations Academy Trust at the end of July.
The school has a total capacity of 360 pupils aged 7 to 11 (Years 3 to 6). It will grow to its full capacity year on year so that in September 2018 the school will be open across Years 3 to 6, offering 360 places. Ocean Academy opened to Year 3 pupils only in 2015, offering a total of 90 places.
Secondary School Options Study
The need for additional school places will move through to Secondary phase schools over the next four years.
Based on current pupil projections an additional 6 forms of entry (180 places) will needed in Year 7 over the period 2019 – 2024.
These places will need to be secured through the expansion of existing schools.
An options study to explore the feasibility and costs of expanding existing Secondary schools and to establish a business case for a new school has been undertaken.
The Council is working with schools and academy trusts to develop a Borough wide plan.
Corfe Hills Pyramid
In February 2014, Borough of Poole and Dorset County Council agreed to lead a comprehensive process to consider the future options for the Corfe Hills Pyramid. The Local Authorities worked closely with the schools to consider what options should be explored.
The options explored were:
- Whether to introduce a 2-tier system of Infant, Junior and Primary schools across all schools in the Corfe Hills Pyramid in both Poole and Dorset
- Whether to introduce a 2-tier system of Infant, Junior and Primary schools across Poole schools in the Corfe Hills Pyramid
- Whether to keep the current 3-tier system of First, Middle and Upper schools across all schools in the Corfe Hills Pyramid in both Poole and Dorset
Technical consultants carried out a site options study and reported back on it to schools and the Borough of Poole in the 2015 Spring Term.
Consideration has been given to the potential for educational benefits that might result from the options explored and the costs of implementing the changes that have been explored.
After taking account of all these factors, both Borough of Poole and Dorset County Council have decided to retain the current 3-tier system of First, Middle and Upper schools.
In October 2015 the Corfe Hills School informed the Local Authorities that the school’s Governing Body had decided not to proceed with its proposal to change the age of transfer at the school. The Governing Body had decided that it will focus on raising academic standards, working with its feeder schools.
You can read a report about the Corfe Hills Options Study.