Expansion of Bowland High (Academy), Riversmead, Grindleton, Clitheroe, BB7 4QS


What is happening and why?

As part of our duty to provide enough pupil places for Lancashire children, Lancashire County Council is proposing to start the process to expand Bowland High School. The proposal would eventually lead to the provision of an additional 150 secondary school places in Ribble Valley East planning area.

We are now starting a period of consultation seeking the views of interested parties. The consultation period will commence on 5th December 2022 and will end on  15th January 2023.


Increases in pupil numbers as a result of increased birth rates in the local area, coupled with the effect of significant housing development, means the number of school places currently available in Ribble Valley East will not be enough to meet the increased demand over the next few years. 

On 6th October 2022, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet approved the School Place Planning Delivery Programme 2023-25, which includes the provision of 300 additional secondary places in future years at Ribble Valley East secondary schools.  It is proposed that the additional places would be gradually increased by 60 places per year with effect from September 2024.

The proposed expansion of Bowland High School would provide an additional 150 places, by admitting 30 additional pupils to each Year 7 with effect from September 2024. This would follow the school exceeding its Published Admission Number by 30 places in 2023/24 via a temporary expansion within existing accommodation.

The permanent expansion of the school from September 2024 would be delivered through internal modification of existing accommodation and the provision of new accommodation on the school site.

The approval of the proposal to permanently expand Bowland High School would help to address the projected shortfall of places and ensure so far as is reasonably possible that every child is provided with a school place in close proximity to their home.

School Information and Consultation so far

Lancashire County Council’s pupil projections indicate a shortfall of secondary school places in the Ribble Valley East planning area and identify a need for additional permanent places from September 2024.

In early 2022 a consultation exercise was conducted with all the secondary schools in the district of Ribble Valley, where expressions of interest were sought for temporary expansion for 2023/24 and permanent expansion from 2024/25. 

An appraisal process was carried out to consider the expansion proposals from schools interested in expansion and it was concluded that Bowland High School offered an ideal location for school expansion to meet the shortfall in the area and has a school site large enough to accommodate a permanent school expansion. 

During this period consultation was also carried out with academy trusts, diocese representatives and Ribble Valley Borough Council officers.

Bowland High School is a popular secondary school and currently has an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted rating (13th December 2016).

The estimated capital costs have not yet been drawn up as the project has not been committed to the design stage. The Governing Body are not being asked to contribute to the scheme.


November/December 2022 Representation 
February 2023 Final decision by Cabinet on Scheme
February 2023 Submission of proposal to DfE
Spring 2023 DfE decision
September 2024 Implementation (if approved)

Current Consultation

A period of consultation is to be undertaken on the proposal to allow a permanent increase in the Published Admission Number of Bowland High School from 110 to 140 places from September 2024, over time expanding the number of places in the school from 550 to 700. This would be enabled by internal remodelling within the existing building and additional build on the school site.

Your views

We want to hear what you think about the proposal to expand Bowland High over time providing an additional 150 secondary school places.

This is a formal consultation and representations will be used to inform the next steps in relation to additional secondary school places in Ribble Valley East. 

You can have your say on this proposal until 5pm on 15th January 2023 via the online survey Bowland 2022 (snapsurveys.com) or by email to  schoolexpansionproposal@lancashire.gov.uk