Plaistow primary school expansion plans go public

A primary school will triple the number of pupils it admits if expansion plans get the go-ahead.

Education chiefs want to boost capacity at Upton Cross Primary School, Churston Avenue, Plaistow by accommodating students on a second site at the Credon Centre.

The centre, around half-a-mile away in Kirton Road, was originally used as a school, but has served as a teacher training centre for the past 25 years.

Using it to house Upton Cross pupils would increase the annual reception intake from 45 to 120 – 60 places at each site.

The plans would take effect from September, with preliminary construction work taking place over the summer.

Further work would be necessary at the school over the coming years to deal with the sustained increase in pupil numbers.

Parents, staff and governors have already been told about the plans and no formal objections have been received.

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They have been told there is no space to move the whole school to the new site – and have been promised the head teacher will maintain a presence at both locations.

The council’s cabinet will this week be asked to give approval for a wider public consultation.

In a report to councillors, head of schools planning Shane Billingham said: “Upton Cross School has been rated as outstanding by Ofsted at its last inspection and is very popular with residents.

“The school is also located in an area where there is significant pressure on there being sufficient school places.

“However, the existing school site is too small to expand in order to provide the additional places.”

Bosses have not revealed the cost, but it would be funded by the Department for Education the council and school.

They say the alternatives – to increase pupil numbers at neighbouring schools – would cost more.

Ongoing costs will be met by an increase in the annual schools’ grant from central government.

A date for the consultation has not been set, but it will last about a month before a decision is made.