No More Merton Primary Places Needed Next Year

Report says demand lower than expected

There are unlikely to be any further primary school expansions in Merton in the next school year, after a report has revealed there were more available places than anticipated.

There are now 98 reception class vacancies in Merton's schools, which is 3.5% of the total reception toll, and is slightly higher than expected.

The figures were revealed in a report to Merton Borough council's Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Panel, which met last week.

The council has recently expanded 18 primary schools to help it cope with a 39% increase in the borough's birth rate since 2002.

It is also involved in a search for more sites for long-term school provision in Wimbledon. And last week, planning committee councillors gave the go-ahead to a controversial scheme to expand Dundonald Primary School.

The latest report does conclude that, based on birth data, demand for reception places in Merton is likely to rise beyond 2015, with the peak being in 2018/19. It will then have reached 29 additional forms of entry compared to 2007/8 levels.

But for the 2013 school year it states: "In view of the current year's surplus, the need to control cost of the school expansion programme and on the basis that primary schools, not unreasonably, wish to minimise vacancies, officers have agreed with the lead member and with primary headteachers that we will seek to avoid any additional expansions in reception year commencing September 2013."

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January 25, 2013