Kenilworth School will welcome pupils from further outside the town for the first time in its history to combat a drop in funding and pupil numbers.
The unprecedented plan to expand the school’s catchment area is just one of the ideas in its Funding Vision 2020 to keep classrooms full amidst a ‘birthrate blip’ and Government funding cuts.
Pupils are currently fed up from the six town primary schools, Leek Wootton and Burton Green, but this will now be extended further out into Warwick district.
The school will also open up its buildings to businesses and organisations to generate extra income and make the space more energy efficient.
The measures have arisen to combat the low numbers of babies born in 2002 and 2003. As a result the school is now suffering from an “unprecedented drop in intake” for the current Year 7 and looking likely to have the same problem next September.
And the unusual situation for the Leyes Lane school not only means emptier classrooms, but also less cash as funding is based on pupil numbers.
Headteacher Hayden Abbot met with parents, governors and teachers to discuss the plans and take ideas on how to maximise revenue.
He said: “While these are not the easiest of times, with the dedication and determination of our staff, students, governors and parents, we will achieve our goal of being a centre of innovation and transformation in 2020 and beyond.”
The Government has also this year altered sixth form funding , reducing the per capita income to the same level as further education colleges.
And to top it all off, cuts mean there is also no longer cash available for capital repairs to the school’s buildings.
Chair of governors Shirley Whiting explained that this was the first year that the school has not been over subscribed and like all organisations in hard times, they are feeling the pinch.
“We see this situation is an opportunity to focus on new ways of maximising our budget and developing new relationships with organisations,” she said. “It is also about new approaches to our teaching and ways of using the very extensive grounds to generate income for the school.”
This year, Kenilworth School and Sixth Form was awarded an outstanding Ofsted report, named as one of the top 100 non selective schools in the country and praised by MP David Lawes for it 85 percent GCSE A* to C pass rate.
Pupils raised over £15,000 for charity this year and eight students gained Oxbridge places - the most since 2005.