Revealed: Eight Redbridge primary schools set to expand

Eight Redbridge primary schools are set to expand within the next 18 months to help deal with the growing pressure on pupil places.

The schools, which have all been assessed by council officers before being recommended for growth, will now be the subject of public consultations before the final go-ahead can be given.

The schools are:

•• Redbridge Primary, College Gardens, Redbridge

• Parkhill Infants, Lord Avenue, Clayhall

• Parkhill Junior, Lord Avenue, Clayhall

• Cleveland Infants, Cleveland Road, Ilford

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• Cleveland Junior, Cleveland Road, Ilford

• South Park Primary, Water Lane, Seven Kings

• Gordon Infants, Golfe Road, Ilford

• Gearies Primary, Waremead Road, Gants Hill

Details of how many pupils each school will expand by are not due to be released until next month, when the consultation will begin.

But it is understood proposals are for Gordon Infants to become an all-through school – it currently teaches children from reception to Year 2.

South Park Primary could increase from a three to a four form entry school in reception to Year 2.

The eight, pencilled in to expand by September this year, or next year, are the latest in a increasingly growing list of schools which have made space for more pupils.

A new primary school will open next to the Isaac Newton Academy, Cricklefield Place, Ilford, in September and an 840-place primary has been earmarked for the historic trolleybus depot in Ley Street, Ilford. It could open in September 2015.

Cllr Alan Weinberg, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “The reason why we’re doing such massive expansions across the borough is because I don’t want to be in the position that some boroughs are in, where they’re facing problems.

“Look at our budget proposals, you’ll see we’re looking at 2018/19, so we’re planning ahead. That is good for parents and young people.”

He also said he understood parents fears over expansions, but insisted they could be “allayed”.

Applications for reception places in Redbridge have increased by almost 800 – from 4,057 to 4,810 – in the last four years.

And projections show both primary and secondary schools will be too full to cope with demand, even when already agreed expansions happen.