Hundreds of new Redbridge school places agreed

Hundreds of new school places will be provided in Redbridge after an agreement was reached to expand five schools.

The proposals were overwhelmingly backed by parents following consultations, and given the seal of approval at a meeting of Redbridge Council’s cabinet held yesterday in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

The four primary schools to be expanded for September 2012 are:

• Christchurch Primary School, Wellesley Road, Ilford, from four to five forms of entry

• Grove Primary School, Chadwell Heath Lane, Chadwell Heath, from two to three forms of entry

• Mayespark Primary School, Goodmayes Lane, Goodmayes, from three to four forms of entry

• Mossford Green Primary School, Fairlop Road, Barkingside, from one to two forms of entry.

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Beal High School, Woodford Bridge Road, Redbridge, will also be expanded from eight to 12 forms of entry, creating 120 places for secondary school pupils.

The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition was criticised by Labour Cllr Ross Hatfull during the meeting for not providing enough school places in his ward of Valentines, adding parents often approached him in tears because they were “desperate for a local school place”.

But cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Alan Weinberg said: “We will do whatever we need to do to make sure we meet our legal requirement to provide school places wherever in the borough.”

He also revealed the council had been approached by a company interested in opening another free school in the borough, with a meeting due later this month to discuss their proposals.

He also said rumours of “heel dragging” over relocating Ilford Jewish Primary School on to the site of King Solomon High School, Forest Road, Barkingside, in September 2012 were untrue.

He added: “There are some legal problems that need to be resolved but I’m confident these legal arguments will be resolved as quickly as possible.”

The expansion of Christchurch already has planning permission while the three other primaries do not at this stage.

Beal High also has planning permission but Mayor of London Boris Johnson must give his approval due to its size and because the development is on green belt land.