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Final chance to have say on school expansion plans as 4,000 extra pupils expected over the next five years

PUBLISHED: 13:22 25 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:55 25 November 2016

Rainham Village Primary School. Picture: Google Maps.

Rainham Village Primary School. Picture: Google Maps.

Archant

Time is running out for parents to have their say on expansion in the borough’s primary schools.

Whybridge Infant School had a classroom extended outside of planning permission.Whybridge Infant School had a classroom extended outside of planning permission.

The four-week consultation for people to have their say ends on Monday, with five schools affected by the plans.

Drapers’ Pyrgo Priory Primary School, Harold Hill, Rainham Village Primary School and Whybridge Infant and Junior Schools in Rainham, and Hylands Primary School, Romford, are the schools which could be expanded.

An extra 150 pupils would be added across the five schools every year under the proposals.

The increasing amount of primary aged pupils in Havering is highlighted as the reason behind the proposals with numbers expected to significantly rise from 21,074 in 2015/16, to 25,677 in 2020/21.

This equates to more than 4,000 extra pupils over the next five years.

Since 2011, the council has created an additional 3547 primary school places in the borough - 2505 of those being permanent places created through the expansion of 21 existing primary schools.

In the consultation documents, the council are quick to allay fears on any future disruption with possible building work being “kept at a minimum” and schools making every attempt to “ensure staff are supported and retained”.

Back in August, the Recorder reported how residents accused the council of double standards after it pushed ahead with extending a classroom without planning permission at Whybridge Infant School in Ford Lane.

The classroom extension was pushed ahead due to an apparent “urgent and legal need to provide school places”.

If the council decides to proceed with the proposals, it will publish a statutory notice and other information in February 2017, followed by a four-week “representation period”, providing a final chance for people to express views.

Havering Council intends to make a final decision on any expansions by end of March 2017 for implementation from September 2017.

Parents can have their say by visiting www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2017expansions.

For more information, visit https://www3.havering.gov.uk/Documents/Education/Consultations/Consultation-Document-2017-Primary-schools-expansions.pdf

Are you a parent that could be affected by the plans? Do you have any concerns? Email ryan.tute@archant.co.uk

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