The council’s cabinet recently approved plans for increasing the number of school places in Warrington in order to meet increased demand.


Plans for new housing has resulted in further demand for school places coming into the area over the next few years. Barrow Hall Primary School, Great Sankey Primary School, Chapelford Primary School and Sir Thomas Boteler High School have the capacity for growth and if these plans go ahead it would unlock significant investment in these schools.

There has been a higher demand for in-year school places than has been accounted for in the current expansion plan.  This is due to:

  • The last two years seeing an average 380% rise in international migration of school aged pupils into Warrington driven by significant migration from Hong Kong.
  • Houses have sold far faster than developments in recent years so there is a saturation of people moving into Warrington at the same time, rather than a more steady rate of people moving here. This has created additional challenges for school placements.

S106 contributions from the housing developers in Omega has resulted in funding for schools to expand in the area, this will be supported with additional basic need grant where appropriate. The investment proposed is:

  • £448k capital funding for Barrow Hall Primary school in order to replace/refurbish their temporary classroom. This would be fully funded from S106 and would provide the additional resources required to provide a total of 36 additional places across years 3, 4, 5 and year 6 class over the next four years. 
  • £1.8m for Great Sankey Primary School, in order to provide 105 new school places.  This would be part funded from S106 (£307k) and part funded from basic need (£1,493k).
  • £1.35m for Chapelford Primary School to provide 120 temporary school places to manage bulge years. Funded from basic need grant.
  • £300k for Sir Thomas Boteler High School to provide 75 additional places across all year groups.  Fully funded from S106 funding

The schools to have benefited from S106 funding and basic need grant so far are as follows:

Primary school investment:

  • Barrow Hall Primary - in 2016 the existing school was moved to the Omega site and received £7.9m investment to build a new school which was also extended to a three form entry school, increase of 210 places.
  • Chapelford Primary - in 2015, £1.6m was invested to extend the school to a three form entry, with an increase of 210 places.
  • St Philips Primary- in 2016, £2.9m was invested to, again, extend the school to a three form entry school, with an increase of 210 places.

Secondary school investment:

  • Great Sankey High School - in 2019, £3m was invested to extend the school for an additional 375 places.
  • St Gregory’s Catholic High School - in 2017, a £4.5m investment was made to replace the temporary mobile block and increase school places by 240.
  • Penketh High School has recently had a £2.4m investment approved to provide 120 school places.

The council is the strategic commissioner of school places in the borough, with a legal duty to ensure there are sufficient and suitable school places for all children of compulsory school age.

Cllr Sarah Hall, cabinet member for children’s services said: “Warrington has an increasing number of school aged children and it is vital that we have sufficient school places to support this. These plans are focused on meeting the needs of local children and families, ensuring that they receive a first class education.

“Warrington is a diverse borough and we continue to welcome new families and young people into the area. The excellent reputation of our schools has seen us face unprecedented demand for in-year school places.

“Warrington is a great place to live. The fact that people want to come to Warrington is a reflection of the superb schools we have here and the amazing teachers and school staff, as well as the wonderful support they receive from parents.”

To read the full Monday 12 June Cabinet Paper.