Sutton Council is consulting local residents on plans to expand another five schools in time for a predicted surge in applications in September 2013. Sutton has one of the highest birth rates in London, and over the past four years has seen a dramatic increase in the number of families applying for primary school places in the borough.
Data from the Greater London Assembly suggests this trend is set to continue. In October 2011, 13,927 pupils attended Sutton’s Primary schools. By September 2014 this is predicted to rise to 15,906 and by September 2016 it is expected to reach 16,996. Figures from the Department for Education reveal an additional 100,000 places will be needed across London over the next three years.
Sutton Council anticipated this increase and has been expanding its primary schools for the past three years.
Planning ahead is crucial, so the council wants to know what people think about its most recent plans to make sure there are enough places for the start of the 2013 school year. The schools being considered for expansion are: Amy Johnson Primary School, Avenue Primary School, St Mary’s RC Infant and Junior School off West Street, Carshalton and Dorchester Primary School. Each school would provide one extra form of entry, meaning an extra class of 30 children would be able to start school in September 2013.
Extra places could also be provided at the former Stanley Park High School site, by opening an annexe to another school, possibly Bandon Hill Primary. Residents can have their say on the proposals through an online questionnaire and the expansions will be discussed at local area committee meetings throughout March and April.
Cllr. Kirsty Jerome, Executive Member for Education and Schools at Sutton Council, said: “It’s really important we plan ahead wherever possible, which is why we’re asking people for their thoughts well in advance of when we’re going to need these extra places. “We’ve worked with governors, teachers, parents and pupils to expand primary schools over the last few years and it’s been very successful. The schools tell us the extra children and facilities we’ve been able to provide have enhanced their school communities and they’ve been able to continue to achieve the excellent results which have put Sutton in the top four performing local authorities in the country. “As the number of children applying for school places in Sutton continues to increase we are continuing to lobby the Government for more funding so we can ensure every child has a place at a local school.”
Residents can have their say by filling in an online consultation. Paper copies will be sent to all schools. The closing date for responses is Monday 14th May.
Meetings at all the schools involved are planned:
- Amy Johnson Primary School Tuesday 17 April 3.30pm
- Avenue Primary School Wednesday 18 April 7pm
- St Mary’s RC Infant and Junior School Thursday 19 April 7pm
- Bandon Hill Primary School Tuesday 24 April 7pm
- Dorchester Primary School Tuesday 1 May 7pm
Residents will also be able to find out more about the proposals at local area committee meetings:
- Sutton (for St Mary’s RC Infant and Junior School) Thursday 29 March
- Beddington and Wallington (for Amy Johnson Primary and Bandon Hill Primary) Tuesday 17 April
- Sutton South, Cheam and Belmont (for Avenue Primary) Thursday 19 April
- Cheam North and Worcester Park (for Dorchester Primary) Thursday 26 April
- Carshalton and Clockhouse (for St Mary’s Infant and Junior) Tuesday 24 April.