THE headteacher of Ellesmere Primary School has revealed startling figures which show it is just a handful of pupils away from capacity.
Richard Pallett, pictured, addressed Ellesmere’s town council with the stark reality as it met to discuss the area’s Place Plan at the town hall last Wednesday evening.
He said the school was currently catering for 400 pupils and was just 13 away from its capacity and also stated that he had recently had to say ‘no’ to the possibility of allowing six further pupils to attend the school.
The news shocked councillors who are already considering the potential development of a new primary school in the town.
“The infrastructure for young children in Ellesmere is totally inadequate,” Mr Pallett told councillors.
“Having to turn potential pupils away from the school is definitely not good for the town.
“It is wonderful that Ellesmere is growing but the infrastructure in that area is not going to support what is going on.
“There is room around the school for big investment. At the moment we haven’t even got enough toilet provision for pupils or staff,” he added.
Councillor Geoff Elner said there were health and safety concerns regarding access to the school which could prevent it from developing further but said: “I am totally amazed.
“I didn’t realised the school was so close to the wire in respect of its capacity and that is very wrong.
“Lakelands School is also struggling with space so we must ensure provision is also thought of there,” he added.
Mr Pallett, pictured, went on to suggest that new access to the school could be improved by creating an underpass at the Elson Road bridge as well as increased parking for parents and visitors on the site of the old Brownlow Road railway station.
The council has earmarked land for the potential development of a new primary school at Lakelands with Councillor Pat McLaughlin stating: “With Ellesmere’s increasing population we felt it necessary to consider land for any future development.”
However, Mayor of Ellesmere, Cllr Alan Clarke added that he found the potential of Mr Pallett's suggestion to be "a interesting alternative".