Improvement work costing around £12m is being carried out on primary and junior schools across Wolverhampton over the next few months.
Wolverhampton City Council is creating hundreds of extra places to help schools cope with increased demand over the next couple of years – as well as carrying out £2m of maintenance work to ensure pupils have the best possible accommodation.
Nine schools across the city are being expanded, five on a temporary and four on a permanent basis, to meet a spike in the number of pupils expected to start primary education in Wolverhampton in 2015 and 2016.
The council estimates around 3,600 pupils will join the city's primary schools in the 2015 academic year, with around 3,500 pupils joining in 2016, falling back to 3,300 in 2017.
As a result, 465 permanent places are being created at Bilston CE Primary, Eastfield Primary, Manor Primary and Westacre Infant schools, while 270 temporary places are being introduced at Bushbury Hill Primary, Loxdale Primary, St Martin's CE Primary, Stowlawn Primary and West Park Primary schools.
Work has commenced on a number of the expansion schemes with others due to begin shortly.
Meanwhile, around £2m worth of maintenance work is being carried at 32 primary and junior schools between now and the start of the autumn term, including £600,000 on upgrading boilers and replacing pipework and heaters, £700,000 on repairing ceilings and roofs, £248,000 on rewiring and electrical upgrades, £210,000 to upgrade windows and £125,000 on external improvements, security and other refurbishment work.
Councillor Claire Darke, Wolverhampton City Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "We've seen levels of demand for primary school places in Wolverhampton increase significantly over the last few years, and so we need to create hundreds of extra places – particularly over the next two years.
"We have worked closely with the schools which are receiving temporary and permanent expansions, and work is well underway to ensure that these places will be available from September.
"Equally, we are carrying out a great deal of maintenance work across our school estate. Giving our pupils the best possible accommodation is very important to us, as we know there is a direct correlation between educational attainment and the standard of the buildings which pupils are educated in.
"This is part of the ongoing maintenance work the council carries out in the city's schools on an annual basis, and we have worked closely with the schools involved to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum."