Cabinet green light �200,000 to see if six Redbridge schools should expand

“There’s no grey area, we have to provide school places for the number of school children in the borough” was the justification for a �200,000 study on schools.

Cllr Alan Weinberg, cabinet member for children’s services, was speaking after the money was approved by cabinet on Tuesday.

The study will assess whether six schools are suitable to be expanded to keep up with the borough’s expanding population.

In the 2011 census put the population of Redbridge at 280,000 which is set to increase to 320,000 by 2020.

Cllr Alan Weinberg said: “The census took everyone by surprise, school children are increasing by a greater amount than we expected. We will look at the areas which have the most pressure on them first.”

The money was asked for ahead of the budget which will be allocated early next year due to the increasing pressure on school places.

He said: “The whole point is that we need to bring forward out feasibility studies so we have up schools up and ready. We are speeding up the process so we are ready to open the schools.”

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The money is being taken from the �705,000 which was not spent from the council’s general fund.

Cllr Weinberg said that he would like to carry out feasibility studies at all the schools in Redbridge which would cost �2 million.

“All parties support the need for high school education for our children,” he said. “I will be putting forward a proposal for all of the schools [to be studied] but that does not mean that all 76 are in a position to expand. We have to look at the land that’s available.”

The meeting was held at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road Ilford.

Since 2006 more than 6,000 primary school places and 1,410 secondary school places have been created.

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