Merton School Places To Be Increased

Capacity grows to meet rising pupil forecasts

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More school places are being made available in Merton schools after a decision to permanently expand two schools and increase capacity at others for at least a year.

Joseph Hood School in Wimbledon Chase and Hollymount School in Raynes Park will both see their existing temporary expansions made permanent from September 2011, taking the capacity of each school from 210 pupils, plus nursery, to 420 pupils by 2015.

Three further schools will take an additional reception class this September as a 'one-year bulge' - Bishop Gilpin in Lake Road, Wimbledon, as well as Aragon in Morden and Cranmer in Mitcham - following a meeting of Merton Council's cabinet last night.

The increasing demand for school places is a trend seen across London with many boroughs struggling to find capacity for children entering reception year. Pupil forecasts indicate that up to a further nine forms of entry, making 18 in total, will be needed across Merton by 2012/13.

To meet demand across Merton in 2008/09 and 2009/10, six schools (Holy Trinity in Wimbledon, Wimbledon Chase, St Thomas of Canterbury in Mitcham, Benedict in Mitcham, Hollymount and Joseph Hood) had provided additional reception year classes with a view to arrangements becoming permanent. 

Councillor Peter Walker, cabinet member for education at Merton Council, said: "Ensuring there are sufficient places in Merton schools is an absolute priority for the council.  We are delighted at this time of pressure on public spending, that we are able to expand first class state provision in our primary schools for our children.

“Hollymount and Joseph Hood both have good Ofsted ratings and I’m sure many parents will feel a sense of relief to know that the chances of securing a permanent school place for their child will be much higher.”

June 22, 2010