Newham issues pledge over school places as demand for secondary grows
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 November 2020
The town hall has laid out its plans for school places in the borough.
Newham Council’s cabinet chiefs agreed to update the local authority’s school places planning strategy with a pledge to match supply with demand.
Cllr Zulfiqar Ali, lead member for education, said: “The provision of a top class education for our young people is an absolute priority, and with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our schools, it is more vital than ever that we make sure the offer we make to pupils, parents and carers is the best available.
“We have to make these decisions based on the shifting demographic make-up of our borough, but we have to plan ahead, and working closely with schools and governing bodies we have come up with a plan which we are confident will provide the best opportunities for all our young people.”
The local authority has a legal obligation to make sure there are enough school places in the borough.
Demand for primary school places is slowing in Newham, but the town hall reports a significant increase in secondary school place demand.
With extra housing in the pipeline and larger primary age groups moving through the system, demand for secondary places is forecast to increase over the next five years.
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As a result, funding to expand two more secondary schools was agreed by cabinet in January last year alongside two free school secondaries to be opened.
The town hall says the proposed extra places will help reduce an overall shortfall of places to three forms of entry by September 2025.
Two forms of permanent entry are due to be provided at Forest Gate from September 2020 with four forms at Brampton Manor in September 2021.
Brampton Manor has also agreed to admit more students in September 2020.
Subject to cabinet approval, four more forms of permanent entry are planned for September 2021.
This includes Lister, with a proposed permanent expansion of two forms of entry for September 2021 to create 300 more places from Year 7 to Year 11. The same applies to Little Ilford.
The planned expansion of Colegrave has been suspended subject to review in three years because of the slowing demand for primary places.
The town hall expects to save about £9million from a government funding pot set up so councils can fulfil their obligation to create enough places.
Those millions will in part be spent on special needs education and providing secondary places.
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