MP Andrew Rosindell backs free schools to solve primary crisis in Havering

Andrew Rosindell meets parents over Gidea Park Primary School expansion

Andrew Rosindell meets parents over Gidea Park Primary School expansion - Credit: Archant

Romford’s MP asked the Prime Minister to help plug a school places ‘crisis’ on Wednesday as parents expressed concerns about expansions. Earlier in the week the sponsor of Romford’s first free school withdrew its support

Romford’s MP has called for more free school sites to be made available to help ease the school place “crisis”.

It is expected 3,000 extra primary school places will be needed in Havering by 2019, due to a 33 per cent spike in births.

Andrew Rosindell told the Recorder he believed building new free schools is a better solution than “pushing schools to their limit” by expanding them.

He said he has spoken to a Department of Education official about considering more sites.

On Wednesday, Mr Rosindell spoke at Prime Minister’s Questions to call for adequate resources to ensure any school expansions are manageable.

His question followed a meeting with parents concerned that a proposal to expand Gidea Park Primary School, Lodge Avenue, Gidea Park, would put pressure on facilities.

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Mr Rosindell said he is not against all school expansions but that full assessments are needed before approval.

He added: “I am not convinced by any means that Gidea Park is the best school to expand.”

Mr Rosindell also asked the Prime Minister if he was “prepared to meet a delegation of parents and members of the local council to discuss how to resolve the serious issue”.

Cllr Meg Davis, Havering Council’s cabinet member for children and learning said :”We have a legal duty to provide school places for these children and it is important and sensible to start planning for this right away.”

She added that a recent consultation showed “substantial parental support for expanding schools” and all plans for schools in line for expansion had the support of headteachers and governors.