School Buildings and School Places

The Portsmouth Academy

Portsmouth City Council has a statutory duty to provide sufficient school places for resident children and is committed to working with schools, academies and multi-academy trusts for the benefit of children and young people in Portsmouth.

Primary school places

Detailed analysis and forecasting has confirmed that the number of pupils requiring primary schools places is within the current capacity for the next four years. This is based on a range of demographic indicators. Further pressure on capacity could be driven by potential housing developments and the schemes will be closely monitored to assess progress.

Taking account of the reduction in demand as indicated by demographic indicators and the slower progress with housing developments, no action is required in 2021/22 in relation to the sufficiency of primary school places. The primary school place strategy will be reviewed again next year.

Secondary school places

Detailed analysis and forecasting has confirmed that the number of pupils requiring secondary school places will continue to rise until 2024/25, placing pressure on school place capacity. In line with the forecast reduction in primary numbers, secondary numbers are forecast to fall from 2025/26, providing surplus capacity, but this position could alter if there was significant housing development in the intervening period.

Capacity has already increased for 2020/21 at Trafalgar School, Admiral Lord Nelson School, Charter Academy, The Portsmouth Academy, and St Edmund’s School. However, action is required to address a modest pressure on places in 2023/24 and 2024/25. Expansion plans will need to ensure that space can be used flexibly to account for future potential uses if secondary numbers fall and surplus capacity is available in future years.

Special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision

There is a statutory duty to provide suitable education for pupils with an EHCP and for early years’ children entitled to ‘free early education’. The Portsmouth SEND strategy focuses on an inclusive education with mainstream schools and early years’ settings being the first option considered for all but those with the most severe, complex and long term educational needs and the most profoundly disabled children.

A strategic SEND review of accommodation is currently underway in response to increasing numbers of pupils with special education needs and disabilities, and a growing pressure on capacity coupled with limited potential to expand existing sites to accommodate demand. A range of potential solutions to deliver the additional capacity are being developed and a capital bid to support the strategy is being considered by full council in February 2021.


Charter Academy

  • The 2019/20 academic year was very busy, with three major capital projects completed at Admiral Lord Nelson School, Charter Academy and The Portsmouth Academy to increase the number of secondary school places to meet the growing demand. Despite the challenges presented due to the pandemic, these three schemes completed as planned in September 2020. Work also completed at the Cliffdale Academy in the Early Years area and a scheme at Redwood Park Academy to improve the accommodation for SEND pupils in those schools.
  • The new school at Arundel Court was completed and handed over in January 2020. Demolition of the old school buildings is due to commence in February 2021.
  • Work also commenced on the new school for Mayfield, which is due to be completed by July 2021.
  • Funding for a new 66 place school for pupils with autism was granted by Lord Agnew in July 2019. The school will be built on the site of the old Wymering Community Centre and is due to open in September 2022. A planning application was submitted in January 2021.
  • During the summer 2019, projects at Cliffdale Academy and The Lantern (satellite site for Mary Rose school) to provide suitable accommodation for SEND pupils were completed. Also, the replacement school at Beacon View Academy was finished, just in time for the start of the autumn term.


To discuss a potential school reorganisation, for example a change to the school’s admissions number, age range, or status, please contact [email protected].

The following suite of documents outlines Portsmouth’s plans in relation to school place planning. The documents and relevant appendices can be found on the Portsmouth City Council website:


The Department for Education has published guidance on school organisation issues, including making significant changes to schools (for example, expansion), closing schools and opening new schools.