£20 million for new places in Croydon schools

Pic: Flickr/EmoryMaiden

Pic: Flickr/EmoryMaiden

Croydon Council may allocate £20 million for new primary school places for the start of the 2014 school year.

The funding  allocation follows 240 permanent and 540 temporary school places created last year. These extra places are required because figures show that within four years the borough could need as many as 53 new permanent primary school places in every year group.

Subject to consultation decisions permanent new classes will be built at Cypress and St James the Great schools with academy providers also being invited to create two new schools in the area.

The continuing increased need for more classroom space comes as Croydon’s population is growing  with more people moving into the borough than leaving.

According to the Croydon Observatory, a council website that provides data on the borough, estimates show that Croydon’s population has increased by 3.3% over the last 10 years (2001 – 2010). Higher birth rates are also a factor.

This has increased pressure on school places. Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: “I’m pleased to say that every child who applied to us for a reception place before 27 July received an offer for September 2012.

“Everyone also had an offer of a place for the transition to secondary and we had spare capacity in several schools for late or in-year applicants.”

The increased pressure to meet this target again in the coming school year has made it necessary for some schools to be expanded.

Pollard said: “One of the councils biggest priorities is to ensure that every child has access to an appropriate school place, and that they receive an excellent standard of education as a result.

“These new investment plans mean that we will continue to meet the demand for places even if population growth figures are at the highest end of our forecasts.”

A number of permanent primary school extensions have been confirmed for Downsview School, Norbury Manor School, The Howard School, Parish Church Junior School and Forestdale School.

New annexes will be built on Bridgstock Road for Whitehorse Manor Infant School and Stroud Green Lodge will be used for an extension to the Oasis Academy Shirley Park School. These are planned to open in September 2013.

The council is also looking for an academy provider to build a new school hoping to be part of the Olympic legacy.  It would be situated in South Norwood and have a specialist focus on sports and science.

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