Havering school places crisis: Council reveals proposals to expand four more primary schools

The James Oglethorpe Primary School along with Crownfield Infants' School, St Peter's Catholic Prima

The James Oglethorpe Primary School along with Crownfield Infants' School, St Peter's Catholic Primary School, Broadford Primary School and Parsonage Farm School have been recommended by the cabinet for expansion - Credit: Archant

Plans to expand four more primary schools in Havering have been revealed in a report going to the council cabinet tonight.

Outline proposals include expanding St Peter’s Catholic Primary, Dorset Avenue, Romford, Crownfield Infants’ School, White Hart Lane, Rush Green, the James Oglethorpe Primary School, Ashvale Gardens, Upminster, and Broadford Primary, Faringdon Avenue, Harold Hill.

The report also says the council is seeking planning permission to expand Parsonage Farm School, Farm Road, Rainham, after it was rejected despite plans being previously approved by the cabinet.

Each of the schools would go up one form of entry, except James Oglethorpe which would go up by half a form of entry.

The council says it needs eight more forms of entry overall in the borough in place for the next academic year 2016/17.

Along with the five proposed, Suttons and Hacton Primary Schools are already being expanded through the government’s Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) providing 56 new places.

While more places are needed in Hornchurch, the council said it was not proposing any expansion in that area as there is surplus capacity in Elm Park.

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“Officers have been working closely with headteachers and governing bodies to ensure they are fully on board with the expansion proposals linked to their schools and confident that the expansion will lead to improved opportunities for children and hence outcomes,” said the report.

The report also said current projections showed there would be 20 “bulge” – temporary – classes across the borough next year on top of the eight permanent expansions proposed, including eight reception classes.

And the council predicts there will be a shortfall of 72 Year Seven places in 2016/17 which will continue to worsen unless new places are provided.

The report said the borough predicted a 266 place shortfall in 2018/19, going up to 451 places in 2019/20 and 512 in 2012/21.

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