Firs Primary School Full Proposal

Local authority proposal for prescribed alterations

In accordance with Section 19 (1) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 and The School Organisation (Prescribed Alterations to Maintained Schools) (England) Regulations 2013, Trafford Local Authority (the LA) proposes to expand:

Firs Primary School (3582025), Firs Road, Sale, M33 5EL 

The LA proposes to expand the school from a two form entry (60 pupils per cohort) to a three form entry (90 pupils per cohort) primary school with effect from 1 September 2022. 

Firs Primary School is a community school. 


The Local Authority has a duty, set out in the Education Act 1996, to ensure sufficient school places for children who live within its area. Trafford has seen a significant increase in the number of children resident in the area overall and in particular in the Sale area. 

Need or demand for additional places

In the 2020 admission round oversubscription was most prominent in Sale. On national offer day (16 April) 11 applicants, that had applied on time, could not be allocated a place at any of their preferred schools and could not be allocated a place at any other school within a reasonable distance because all those schools were oversubscribed.  All 11 children lived in the catchment area for Firs Primary School.  In addition the LA received 39 late applications from Trafford residents.  4 of these lived in Sale and, again, they could not be allocated a place at any other school within a reasonable distance.  In an emergency measure the LA approached Firs Primary School, and it was agreed that the school would admit 10 additional children.  The 10 additional children were accommodated in the existing open plan reception class, although more permanent accommodation is now required as the class moves through the school. 

In the 2021 admission round only 1 school has reception places in Sale West, Wellfield Infant School. 

The proposed expansion of Firs Primary School will, in the first instance, consolidate the 10 emergency places already allocated in the 2020 reception class as the children move up into Year 1 and will provide places to meet the unprecedented demand for places in upper year groups in the Sale West area where all the available places for September 2021 have already been allocated in Year 1, Year 3, Year 5 and Year 6.  Ultimately the proposal will contribute to future demand brought about by the proposed redevelopment of the Sale West estate which falls within the Firs catchment area.  The School, rated outstanding by Ofsted, is centrally placed within the Sale West area and is located on a public transport route which allows direct transport from Sale East and West Timperley, to the School.  This means that, in addition to ensuring places for children living in the Firs catchment area and the joint Firs/Woodheys catchment area, in year applicants from other parts of Sale and Timperley can be accommodated within the requirements of reasonable travel times. 

Housing developments 

There are 32 developments planned for the Sale area due for delivery over the next 15 years, 13 of which are in Sale West, with a projected impact of 75 additional primary aged pupils.  In addition to this, the former Greater Manchester Spatial Framework (GMSF) allocation for Carrington plans to build over 1,200 units in Sale West between 2024 and 2037, with a projected yield of 282 primary pupils, increasing the primary requirement to just over 1 form entry (FE). 


The School Organisation (Prescribed Alterations to Maintained Schools) (England) Regulations 2013 sets out the procedure that must be followed by LAs where the physical expansion of a school is proposed. 

The statutory process has four stages: 

Stage 1

Informal consultation with interested parties.  Whilst Stage 1 is not prescribed, there is a strong expectation that schools and LAs will consult interested parties when developing the proposal prior to publication, as part of their duty under public law to act rationally and take into account all relevant considerations.  Therefore, the LA has carried out consultation with parents, staff, and residents.  An internal staff consultation took place on 21 May 2021, followed by an online consultation (as a result of Covid 19 restrictions) for all stakeholders between Tuesday 22 June 2021 and 6 July 2021.  The comments and responses received from the informal consultation can be viewed on Trafford Council's Citizen Space - Expansion of Firs Primary School. 

Stage 2 

The publication of the statutory notice on 2 September 2021 begins Stage 3. 

Stage 3

The representation period which must last for 4 weeks. 

Stage 4 

The final stage is determination by Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Children’s Services. 

School capacity

The net capacity of the school is 420 and the current published admission number for Firs Primary School is 60.  This allows for a maximum number of pupils on roll of 420.  The proposed admission number is 90.  The anticipated number of pupils on roll at Firs Primary School from September 2022 will be 460 with an additional 30 pupils in every subsequent cohort and the admission of additional pupils into the existing cohorts as required.  The number on roll is expected to rise to a maximum of 630 pupils by 2025. 

Alteration description 

1.    Installation of two single storey temporary classroom blocks providing a total of three classrooms to house the third Year 1 class and two Year 6 classes currently in the double mobile classroom whilst the proposed building work takes place. 

A planning application was submitted on 28 May 2021 and, following all the required planning consultation processes was approved.  The full details of this application can be viewed on Trafford's Public Access Website

2.    Expansion of the school including standalone replacement nursery allowing the existing nursery to become a third reception classroom, a new studio extension to the dining hall allowing increased dining capacity and new 2 storey classroom block containing 12 junior classrooms and associated spaces as well as a staff workspace. Internal remodelling of some existing spaces will also be required to create a new food technology room, a second small specialist class, a larger staffroom and enlarged offices. 

3.    A planning application was submitted on 12 July 2021 and is currently subject to the required Planning consultation processes.  The full details of this application can be viewed on Trafford’s Public Access website: Planning Application 105221/FUL/21 

The school is currently a single storey sprawling building that has been extended over time from its original layout. The building was extended in 2009 to include further classrooms and special support classroom. Currently Year 6 are accommodated in a temporary classroom block to the south west of the main block that requires replacing due to its age and condition. 

The main building currently has 12 classrooms within it (including reception classes) and together with the 2 temporary classrooms accommodates the current class numbers. There is also a nursery and one Small Specialist Class (SSC) space. 

The building is lacking in space for staff facilities with meetings required to be held in one of the main halls. The school currently are unable to teach Food Technology as there is no suitable space available. 

The increase in the form intake from 2 to 3 forms will require the school to have 21 classrooms (including reception classes) together with appropriate support spaces. In addition to this there is a new nursery. 

Firs Primary School also has a Special Educational Needs (SEN) Unit offering resourced provision for up to 10 children with social communication and complex learning difficulties, known as a small specialist class (SSC). One additional adjacent specialist classroom will be created in the existing building offering a further 10 SEN places, permitting separate specialist classes for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils. 

The current dining room will not accommodate the increased school numbers to enable all children who wish to have a school lunch. Of these children 30.4% of them receive free school meals so it is essential that the dining capacity is increased to meet the needs for the school. 

The short fall and the need to keep key adjacencies whist maintaining the function of the school through the changes has driven the proposed additions and alterations. 

Project costs

In January 2021 Trafford Council’s Executive agreed £4.5 million basic need funding to take Firs Primary School from 2 FE to 3FE. 

Education standards

Firs Primary School has been judged outstanding by Ofsted where inspectors found that: 

  • Leaders and governors have ensured that all staff share an unswerving commitment to setting high expectations for all pupils;
  • Leaders are determined and uncompromising in their pursuit of a first-class education for all pupils.
  • As a cohesive and motivated team, the staff have driven far-reaching improvements and are passionate about the care, welfare and education of every pupil who attends the school. 

Extended services 

The proposed expansion will not affect the provision of the school’s extended services. 

Travel and accessibility

As required by Planning Regulation a full transport assessment has been submitted as part of the planning application.  The full assessment can be viewed online through Trafford’s Public Access Website under Documents. The assessment concludes that the site is accessible to a range of destinations by walking, cycling and public transport in accordance with national and local transport policies. The school have also updated their Travel Plan which aims to encourage more sustainable means of travelling to school. 


The proposal will be implemented from 1 September 2022. 

Objections and comments 

Within four weeks from the date of publication of these proposals (2 September 2021), any person may object to or make comments on the proposal by email to

Or by post to:

School Admissions Service Manager,

Waterside House,


M33 7ZF