|School Expansion Plans Move Forward|
Primary schools set to expand further to meet demand
Plans to increase the number of school places are taking shape after the council’s cabinet agreed the next step for expanding 17 schools.
On Tuesday (4 September), councillors agreed to publish statutory notices of the intention to expand the schools from 2014/15 to help meet unprecedented levels of demand for places. This follows two months of informal consultation with parents and schools about the plans.
Following the publication of these notices there will be a further four-week period of consultation which is the final opportunity for people and organisations to express their views about the proposals.
Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for education and housing at the council, said:“The growth in the demand for places we are looking at for the next few years is huge, and there is no corner of the borough that is unaffected.
“Local schools are incredibly popular and we are determined to try to make sure parents are able to get a place at their local school.
“These plans will help us make sure parents have a better choice of places to send their children for years to come.
“We have selected these schools for a number of reasons, such as demand in the area, whether the site has capacity to expand, and if the works can be completed without unmanageable disruption.
“All of our schools understand the need we have to provide school places for our children and we’ve discussed with them how the expansions can also bring additional benefits to both pupils and staff.”
Hounslow has seen a rapid increase in the number of school-aged children in recent years and, in order to provide the capacity to give these children the education they need, the council has been creating extra places at schools that have the potential to expand and where demand is highest.
Since 2008 the council has increased the number of places across the borough, adding individual classes (known as ‘bulge’ classes) and completely expanding a school.
More classes have already been provided for this the current academic year to meet the increasing demand for places across the borough. This has seen almost 800 additional school places added across 24 primary schools, as well as extra places have been set up for children with special education needs.
The seventeen schools that councillors agreed to publish formal notices to expand are:
Crane Park Primary School
In considering which schools should be selected for potential expansion, account has been taken both of DfE guidance and the criteria that Members have identified as important, specifically, that:
there is projected to be a demand for additional places in the specific area;
the site (or another site) can accommodate the necessary additional building and the additional pupils;
the necessary building works can be completed without unmanageable disruption to the existing school;
there is evidence that the additional places will be popular with parents requiring school places;
there will continue to be a balance between community and faith schools;
the school to be expanded will provide a high quality of education.
September 13, 2012