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Work continues to meet school place demand

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Work to plug a potential gap in secondary school places in Middlesbrough is under way due to a possible delay in a building project.

The permanent home for Outwood Academy Riverside was originally expected to be finished by September 2023.

The Department for Education has now advised Middlesbrough Council that completion is likely to be in January 2024.

Council officers are now looking at different solutions to ensure there is sufficient capacity for year 7 students, in the event the project is delayed.

A report to be considered by the Council's Executive states: "Such a change to the building schedule would result in a shortfall of between 150-200 places for the September 2023 intake.

"Alternative arrangements are now being explored to ensure that sufficient places are available for the 2023 intake and the Executive will be formally updated on progress."

There is no potential shortfall in places for September 2021, while a potential issue for September 2022 has been mitigated by actions already taken by the Council. In May the Executive approved a £2.3m investment in King's Academy, Coulby Newham, which will create 128 places.

Cllr Stephen Hill, Executive Member for Education, said: "The feedback from parents and students on Outwood Academy Riverside has been first class and the new building will be a brilliant addition to the St Hilda's area.

"We have been informed of a potential short delay to the project and are taking all necessary steps to ensure we have the number of school places the town needs."

Outwood Academy Riverside opened in its first temporary base in September 2020. Students moved to Russell Street earlier this year.

The Executive will consider the latest report on June 15.

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