�28million cash boost to help Redbridge handle booming school demand

Schoolchildren in Redbridge are set to benefit from a �28million cash injection to create more school places – a sum larger than any other London borough will receive this year.

The Department for Education has awarded Redbridge schools the extra money, which the borough will use to plug an estimated shortfall of around 700 school places that could occur by 2018.

The projected number of pupils in the borough is set to increase by more than 6,000 in the next six years.

Welcoming the extra funding, Cllr Alan Weinberg, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The government have listened. We have proved the pressures there are on us, and they can see that this is going to last for at least the next three to five years. “We are delighted to have been awarded more than any other London borough,” he added.

Last month, hundreds of new school places were confirmed for Redbridge after an agreement was reached to expand five schools, creating 120 extra school places by September 2012.

Loxford School of Science and Technology in Loxford Lane, Ilford, created a primary department which started taking pupils in September this year, making it the first “all through” school in the borough.

A Department for Education spokesman said: “A total of �250million of funding is being allocated for London boroughs with the greatest need for extra school places in London schools this year.

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“This is on top of the �800million that has already been allocated across all schools this financial year.

“Most local authorities will have received some funding however there are local authorities where data shows they did not have as severe a need as others,” she added.

Projections suggest the number of primary school pupils in Redbridge will increase by 3,588 by 2015/16, while those being taught in secondary schools in the borough will increase by 3,034 by 2017/18.