Council to consider proposals for more school places

Published: Friday 24th May 13

The council is to consider updated proposals to provide extra school places at local primaries from September 2014 and September 2015.

The proposals have been drawn up following consultation with the heads and governors at six primary schools and also with parents in the borough.

Additional places are needed in the years ahead to keep pace with the rapidly expanding school-age population.

According to the latest population figures published by the Greater London Authority, the number of children being born in the borough rose from 4,359 in 2003 to 5,477 in 2011. This increase is projected to continue rising over the remainder of the decade.

The economic downturn and the growing reputation for academic excellence of schools in the borough mean they are more popular than ever before. They are attracting additional pupils from neighbouring boroughs and also from parents who may have once considered private education.  

The latest projections show that Wandsworth will need around 24 additional classes by September 2020 to ensure there are enough places for children.

In order to meet this growing demand, the town hall has now drawn up revised plans to provide four new reception classes at Hillbrook, Sheringdale, Albemarle and Granard schools from September 2014. An additional class would also be provided at Allfarthing from September 2015.

The council at this stage is not planning to add an extra reception class at Broadwater School in Tooting. This will allow time for further analysis of the need for places in the locality.

The proposals will be discussed by councillors on the children's services overview and scrutiny committee on June 4. If the plans are endorsed at that meeting the council will than launch a statutory public consultation.

The council's education spokesman Cllr Kathy Tracey said: "The council is working hard with local schools to ensure there are enough reception places to satisfy the demand from parents.

"There is heavy and sustained pressure on school places and we need to make sure that we provide enough places for all the children who need them."

Eight new classes will be opening this September at the start of the 2013 academic year. This includes those being provided at the borough's three new free schools which are opening this autumn.

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