The Mayor of Lewisham has agreed to new plans to tackle the shortage of primary school places in the borough by September 2014.
Funding has been increased by £12.7m in order address the demand for new places. This comes in response to the council’s latest figures which show the borough will need 4,000 new school places by 2014, an increase of nearly 700 on current capacity.
The local council has repeatedly warned that the area’s schools are facing a shortage of places. Many schools in the area are already coping with overcrowding by creating temporary places, known as ‘bulge classes’, housed in temporary structures.
The projected rise in demand for places is concentrated in Telegraph Hill, Lee Green, Rushey Green and Catford.
The new plan will see Prendergast Ladywell Fields College and Trinity CE Lewisham expand to become ‘all age schools’. Adamsrill Primary School will be enlarged from two to three forms of entry, effective from next September. A consultation will take place on enlarging Rushey Green Primary School from two to three forms of entry by September 2014.
Local parents have expressed concerns about overcrowding in schools and objections have been raised by local residents about extension plans at Prendergast Ladywell, with lack of space and parking being the main areas of concern.
Head of Education for Lewisham Council, Chris Threlfall, has acknowledged the concerns but stated that building new facilities at Prendergast Ladywell is essential for delivery of the scheme. He said: “Without Prendergast Ladywell Fields providing two forms of entry in 2013, this borough won’t be able to provide sufficient primary places for that September.”