School expansions set to ensure a place for every child

 

Croydon’s supply of classroom places is set to keep up with demand as the council continues to invest in new and expanded schools.

As in previous years this will mean that every parent who applies on time for a school place in Croydon can be assured of receiving an offer.

Some £155million is now being invested in the current school building programme which runs through until 2019.

In addition to existing projects the council is now recommending the permanent expansion of two further primary schools at Smitham and Woodcote and one special needs school at St Nicholas. A further special needs school, Red Gates, may be also be approved for additional places depending on the outcome of consultation later this year.

The ambitious expansion programme is funded from a mixture of government grants, contributions from private housing developments, and council borrowing. In total this will provide an additional 660 reception places, 450 entry-year secondary places, and 112 special educational needs places.

Included in these figures are temporary or permanent expansion projects already approved for primary places at Gresham, Christ Church, Heavers Farm and St Johns, as well as the expansion of Norbury  Manor Business College and Archbishop Lanfranc and the building of the new Ark secondary free school in Morland Road.

Two new schools, Chestnut Park Primary and Heathfield Academy, will be moving into their permanent homes in September this year after taking in their first year of pupils in temporary buildings in 2015. Meanwhile Harris Academy Purley Way and the Krishna Avanti Free School will be looking forward to their first intake this September in advance of new permanent buildings being ready for September 2017.

“Education is one of this council’s top priorities. Our school expansion programme is one of the most successful in the country and I’m extremely pleased to be able to reassure parents that we will be able to continue to offer every child who applies on time a decent place at a school within the borough.”

Councillor Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, young people and learning

Annual detailed projections are made of Croydon’s rapidly increasing pupil numbers, and current proposals for new schools are based on the last set of figures, which were published in July 2015.

Another free secondary school is due to open in 2018 after Wallington County received government consent to secure an appropriate site.

The details of the full programme are contained in a report to the council’s full cabinet committee which also includes details of a £2.2million maintenance programme designed to ensure existing schools are kept in good physical condition.

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