£336k of Ruddington Schools’ Cash to Expand Edwalton Academy!

Late last year we reported how Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC) had indicated the expansion of Rosecliffe Spencer Academy in Edwalton (top photo) would be the focus of its efforts to accommodate an increasing population of Ruddington children, rather than creating more school places here.

This has now been confirmed in a ‘response’ from NCC to last summer’s petition by village resident Katie Santana on behalf of aggrieved parents in Ruddington. To their surprise and dismay at the time, a number of families living here found their children couldn’t get a place at James Peacock Nursery and Infants School last September. That shortfall has been blamed on the considerable amount of available cash from hundreds of new homes being built in Ruddington not actually being spent here, creating an unprecedented problem. Katie’s petition encouraged NCC to increase school places WITHIN Ruddington, NOT in the surrounding area, and was signed by over 800 village residents.

Bizarrely, Katie had to track down NCC’s response to this petition herself, a full two months after it was ‘published’. Whilst it had appeared on the Council’s website (dated December 11th 2023) no one had actually sent a copy or a link to her. This is despite the document containing the words: “Proposed Actions – The petition response be approved and the lead petitioner be informed.”

The full document can be found >>HERE<<.

The petition ‘response’ contains outlines the ‘stumbling blocks’ to increasing school places within Ruddington as follows:

  • Any proposal to increase capacity at James Peacock Infant School, Ruddington, would require an increase in capacity at St Peter’s CofE Junior School, Ruddington, in order to maintain parity of Published Admission Numbers (PANs) so that all pupils leaving the infant school are able to secure places at the junior school.
  • Whilst the St Peter’s CofE Junior School site is large enough to accommodate expansion, studies have concluded that there would be considerable challenges. The weight of construction traffic to St Peter’s CofE Junior School could not be supported by the existing narrow bridge. This would need to be addressed and the creation of a secondary access would very likely be needed from the A60. The cost implications of this would be considerable but essential to overcome the restrictions imposed on construction vehicles that would be encountered using the present access point.
  • Whilst James Peacock Infant School was considered for expansion and would have physical space to expand, this could not proceed as the School’s latest Ofsted rating is not at Good or above as expected by the Department for Education (DfE) to receive Basic Need funding.
  • The Council reviews school place sufficiency both within planning areas and adjacent planning areas to ensure sufficiency of school places across the County. The Council has worked with Spencer Academies Trust to expand Rosecliffe Spencer Academy by 105 places. Rosecliffe Spencer Academy is situated in the West Bridgford Planning Area, but its catchment encompasses Ruddington and the expansion at Rosecliffe will consequently create extra capacity for both Ruddington and West Bridgford residents.
NCC says James Peacock School’s March 2022 Ofsted Report – which found it “requires improvement” – means it can’t now be expanded using ‘Basic Need Funding’

To fund their Rosecliffe Spencer Academy expansion plan, NCC cites the ‘Latest Estimated Cost’ (LEC) report stating £707,000 of Section 106 developer contributions are available for the project, comprising £267,412 from Ruddington’s Pasture Lane housing and £68,730 from the former Malmic Lace site which was to be used: “For works at James Peacock Infant School and St Peter’s Junior School or works towards the provision of primary school places at such other school or schools in the vicinity of the Development which be required to accommodate the increase in pupils numbers arising from the Development at the County Council’s discretion.”  That’s a total of £336,142 of Ruddington’s school money (so far) going to Edwalton, rather than being spent here.

Perhaps more significantly still, NCC reveals that there are currently £2.329 million of developer contributions, relating to housing developments in Ruddington, that have still not been committed to a project whose associated S106 agreements explicitly require the funds to be used at schools in Ruddington! These are shown in the table below:






Land at Asher Lane, Ruddington


Towards the provision of education or facilities at James Peacock infant & Nursey and St Peter’s CofE Junior School in Ruddington


Land East of Loughborough Road Ruddington


Towards the cost of providing additional places at St Peters Junior School, Ruddington


Land South of Meadowcroft Flawforth Lane, Ruddington


Towards providing additional primary school places in Ruddington necessary to meet the educational needs of primary school age children resident at the development


Land North East Of Marl Close Wilford Road Ruddington


Toward the improvement and/or expansion of primary school provision in Ruddington


Land east of Loughborough Road, Ruddington


Towards improving, remodelling, enhancing, or expanding facilities to provide additional permanent capacity at primary schools within Ruddington, to accommodate pupil growth from the development

Despite this, the report argues: “The projected deficit of places in Ruddington has been mitigated through the expansion of Rosecliffe Spencer Academy. The County Council has the option to approach the housing developers to request an amendment to the terms of the S106s pursuant to Land South of Meadowcroft Flawforth Lane (19/01603) and Land North East of Marl Close (16/01287) to enable the funds to be used for the expansion of Rosecliffe Spencer Academy. Such variations are not uncommon and remain subject to the decision of the Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Asset Management.”

In an email to all those who signed the petition, Katie says: “This response is not good news for families with children, particularly those born after September 2020, who want to send their children to the village schools. I wonder if the housing developers who have built off Flawforth Lane and Loughborough Road are telling those families looking to buy with children under 5 that they now have a very slim chance of getting their children into the local primary schools due to the distance from James Peacock?”

Cllr Sam Smith

Councillor Sam Smith, Cabinet Member for Education and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, responds: “Families in Ruddington reside in the catchment area for James Peacock Infant and Nursery School, St Peter’s CofE Junior School and Rosecliffe Spencer Academy. The data shared in response to the petition, was a combination of planning areas that incorporated all the schools whose catchment areas served Ruddington. The catchment area of James Peacock Infant and Nursery School and St Peter’s CofE Junior School has been unchanged for some years, however since the construction of Rosecliffe Spencer Academy parents living in that historical area have also been included in the catchment area for the newly built Rosecliffe Spencer Academy. As our pupil place planning projection figures make clear in the petition response, those primary schools whose catchment areas serve Ruddington have not only got sufficient capacity for Ruddington families, but there is also a surplus of places which is projected to grow over the next 4 years.”

However, these words are likely to be of little consolation to disappointed Ruddington parents, including Katie, as she shares their own, personal story:

Katie Santana

“Over the last few months, we have had to deal with our child not attending school within the village and the ramifications of this on our family. We have lost hundreds in income every month (a total of over £2000 in a term) as the only way of my child getting home (no school bus was provided) was by me taking time out of work to collect them and drop off at our childminder, which took over an hour, partly thanks to Ruddington roadworks. Even when these conclude, the development of the Wheatcroft and Nottingham Knight roundabouts hints at issues to come for those traveling outside the village for primary school. Similar issues have been faced by other families where only one parent drives, or without access to a car 5 days per week at school run time per week.”

She adds: “We have also come across issues such as flooding blocking the road to school and car issues meaning the only way of taking our child to school was via taxi due to the lack of direct public transport to our ‘catchment school’. My thoughts now go out to those Ruddington residents with young children who will now be waiting with bated breath every April as to whether their child gets to go to school where they live.”

As always, RUDDINGTON.info would welcome your thoughts on the ongoing school places row via our Facebook page >>HERE<<.

NCC says access issues mean there would be “considerable challenges” in expanding St Peter’s Junior School

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