Hundreds Of Extra Primary School Places Announced
Council to get funding to cope with growing demand
Hounslow Council is to provide school places for up to 600 children in the borough to manage the level of demand for the coming academic year. The additional classes will be created at twenty primary schools .
A Council meeting tonight ( Tuesday, April 17th) is expected to vote in favour of providing the extra mainstream primary places, along with more provision for Special Educational Needs ( SEN), and from next year, early years education for 'disadvantaged’ two-year olds in the Borough.
An injection of £16.7 million has been promised to the Council , and the money will ensure parents can get their children into local schools.
The funding was agreed after the council submitted data to the Government showing the increasing demand for school places in the borough.
According to a council document, the projected number of Reception- aged children for this September is between 3312 and 3364, and the Council estimates that is 591 in excess of its current capacity. For the past four years, the Council has been under growing pressure at primary school level due to a rise in the birth rate. Over the past decade, the birth rate has risen by 44%.
And in the last six months, an increase in children entering the borough from outside the country has added to the demand for places, particularly at Infant school level, according to a report prepared for tonight’s meeting.
At present local authorities have a statutory duty to offer three and four-year-olds early years education for fifteen hours a week, but from 2013 they will have to offer this to disadvantaged two-year olds.
An estimated 900 children will receive this in 2013 and in 2014 the figure will rise to 1800 across the borough, either from maximising places in existing schools or refurbishment and possibly new building projects.
Judith Pettersen, director of children’s services and lifelong learning at the council, said:
“We have done a lot of work to manage the demand for places in local schools already, but we are reaching the point where we can’t expand any more .
To manage this, since 2008 the council has created extra places at schools where demand is highest and which have the potential to expan".
To help manage the level of demand for places for the coming academic year, the council is proposing to create additional classes at 20 schools across the borough, providing places for up to 600 pupils.
This will provide enough places for pupils starting school in September, and future pressure will be managed by the permanent expansion of four schools from 2013, and further schools in the future.
The cabinet meeting will approve plans for creating 20 additional classes from September 2012 at the schools listed below, and will allow for increasing the number of places for children with special education needs (SEN) as well as beginning work on creating more classes for both mainstream and SEN for future years.
• William Hogarth
• Green Dragon
• St. Paul’s
• Springwell Infant
• Norwood Green
• Feltham Hill Infant
• Sparrow Farm Infant
• Crane Park
• The Blue School
• Spring Grove
• St Mary’s (Isleworth)
• Isleworth Town
• Hounslow Heath Infant
• Grove Park
Cabinet will also discuss plans to permanently expand four schools by one form of entry from 2013. These are:
Pressure on secondary schools is also increasing and is expected to become manifest in 2015-2016. The council says schools are currently planning how this will be met.
To meet the need for special education, which currently outstrips the supply, the Council is considering creating a number of Special Education Centres (SEN) located in existing schools. The schools where SEN Centres are being considered are:
Heston Community School, Cranford Community School, Strand on the Green, Hounslow Manor, Hounslow Town, Brentford School for Girls and increased provision at Woodbridge Park, and Ivybridge. Consultations with the schools will be carried out .
April 17, 2012