FROM this September Bolton will have a new high school.

Bolton UTC is set to be renamed ­— University Collegiate School or UCS ­for short — and will start taking on year seven pupils in September for the first time ­as pressure for secondary school places in the borough continues.

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This means on Monday, some parents may find a place has been allocated for their children at the £10million town centre campus, even though it was not a choice at the time applications were being made.

The decision by government to expand Bolton UTC to form what is effectively a new high school for the town was delayed by last year’s general election.

This meant that UCS could not be included in the list of options available to pupils starting secondary school in September.

Bolton Council’s education boss Cllr Anne Galloway said: “I understand completely that national offer day can be a stressful time for young people and their families.

“While we do all we can to offer pupils one of their preferred options, significant pressure on school places means this is not always possible.

“UCS is a well-regarded school, with experienced teaching staff, a track-record of good performance and in a convenient central location.

“I am confident that those offered a place at UCS will receive a top-class education in a friendly and supportive environment.”

Bolton UTC, which Ofsted rated as good, was opened in 2015, as part of the Government’s flagship programme to open university technical colleges. Previously it only accepted students from age 14.

But last week, UCS was given the green light by the department for education (DfE) to expand its offer to key stage three pupils.

UCS will become part of the Keys Federation Multi-Academy Trust and has worked closely with Bolton Council to secure the expansion of pupil numbers after figures revealed that demand for secondary school places would outstrip supply in the new academic year.

It is one of several measures taken by town hall chiefs to increase the number and variety of secondary school places in the borough, particularly in central Bolton.

The council’s secondary school expansion programme has already seen more than 1,000 additional places created across the borough including at Ladybridge High School, Sharples Academy and others.

The new King’s Leadership Academy free school in Great Lever will eventually provide a further 900 places.

The Bolton News reported recently, King’s Leadership Academy is also hoping to open another school to accommodate the rising number of secondary school pupils.

The primary school population is expected to rise from 28,133 to 28,382 in 2021/22 and the secondary population is expected to rise from 17,942 in the last academic year to 20,403 in 2022/23.

The numbers are based on projected births and future housebuilding in the borough is said to put another increase on school places.

A council report stated: “Rather than being evenly distributed, new residential development, particularly large scale sites will be focused in key areas where there may not be existing established social infrastructure, including schools and easily accessible school places.

“A possible future development comprising up to 4,500 dwellings in and around the Westhoughton and Hulton Park areas for instance will place great strain on an area that is presently only served by one secondary school, which is already being expanded to accommodate current pupil pressures.

“New residential development will need to be appropriately supported with new schools."