Expansion plan for Loxford School to solve shortage of places

AN EXTRA 840 primary school places could be secured for the borough after education chiefs announced plans to expand Loxford School.

The move was made after projections showed that, if there are no extra pupil places, 344 children in the borough will be without a primary school by 2013/14.

Public consultation over the expansion of Loxford School of Science and Technology in Loxford Lane, Ilford, starts on Monday.

Children’s services cabinet member, Cllr Alan Weinberg, said: “Loxford is a new school, and fills legal requirements regarding the play area children must have, so it could not be more perfect for this.

“If things go to plan, building work should begin in the new financial year. We have some financial issues, but nothing I feel that cannot be overcome.”

It is hoped the 840 places will offset the surge in births and new families moving to the borough which the council says has created the shortage of school places.

The Cabinet originally agreed to consult over expanding the school to take on children from the age of five onwards in June this year. But since then, they have increased the age range from three upwards.

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The new school would also create about 70 new jobs for teaching staff, as well as nursery places for 39 children.

The proposals come after the council pledged to put hundreds of thousands of pounds into increasing school intake across the borough last month. They agreed to spend �300,000 on a feasibility study to permanently expand Year Seven places at Beal High School, Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge, and Mayfield School, Pedley Road, Goodmayes.

The consultation ends on December 13 at 5pm, and Cllr Weinberg said the council would consider any appeals over the Christmas period.