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Tuesday, 23 August 2011
Brent Council plan to meet shortage of primary school places
Brent Council has outlined proposals to meet an expected severe shortage of primary school places over the next four years.
A council report estimates that Brent could be short of 692 reception places by 2020, and suggests that around £52 million in total needs to be spent to meet demand up to 2014-15. The report recommends that the council agree to spend close to an extra £21m from next year on creating extra places. The council hopes to obtain the remaining £31m from central government.
Due to factors including the rising population, Brent Council, like most authorities in London, is struggling to meet the rising demand for primary places. A shortfall of around 70,000 places from reception to year six is predicted across the capital over the next four years.
The council says it has already created 310 new reception places for the next academic year, having spent £15 million on the expansions of Newfield, Brentfield and Park Lane primaries and turning Preston Manor High into an ‘all-through' school, all to open in autumn, and £1.5m on high quality, temporary bulge classes at eight schools.
But demand is expected to continue rising to reach 4,224 reception places by 2020 - with the shortfall of 692 reception places even after the latest expansions being taken into account.
Councillor George Crane, Brent Council's Lead Member for Regeneration and Major Projects, said: "Given the increasing scale of the school-places shortfall, the physical constraints of many existing school sites and a lack of any confirmed government funding, the council and local schools are faced with a real challenge."