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More Council funding for new primary school places
26/09/2012 09:49:00


Last week Croydon Council announced that it would be investing a further £34.5million in providing 570 new permanent primary school places across the borough in the light of an increase of nearly 10% in the demand for reception places in the last two years.

The Council is right to act quickly on this – projections tell us that between 2013 and 2015 Croydon will need at least 550 more permanent places.

But what is fuelling this demand for places? Evidence shows that there has been a dramatic rise in birth rates in Croydon over the past decade – in the borough as a whole they’re up 32% since 2001 but central Croydon has seen a dramatic 67% increase.

Another key factor is what’s called ‘inward migration’ – people from elsewhere in the UK choosing to make Croydon their home. Although this is encouraging evidence that our town has a better reputation than we may think, it puts an incredible strain on our public services.

Under the current Conservative administration, our schools are now performing better than the national average but this performance will not be maintained if our schools become overcrowded. The Council’s investment demonstrates that they are determined to avoid this happening and ensure that our schools continue to improve.

They are considering permanently expanding Downsview, Norbury Manor, Parish Church, Howard and Forestdale schools. Annex expansions are also in the pipeline for Brigstock Manor, which will provide extra places for Whitehorse Manor School, and Stroud Green Lodge, which will allow Oasis Shirley Park to expand.

As ever they will be consulting residents on their plans between 18 September and 18 November 2012. Parents of children at these schools will obviously want reassuring that the changes won’t be to the detriment of their children. I’ll keep you updated as these plans develop.

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Readers' Comments

On 30/09/2012 01:18:00 Graham wrote:
I think I'd have to take issue with the 'as ever they will be consulting residents on their plans' comment there. If experience with the Robert Fitzroy Academy is anything to go by what will actually happen is that a rather dry statement will appear unheralded in the murky depths of the council website and there might be some comment to be found in the local press if you happen to hit their websites at the right time or happen to pick up the right edition of the paper at a local outlet (there have only been half a dozen copies of the local newspapers through the letterbox in the last five years).

Inviting those who happen to stumble across the plans by fluke is not really consultation. It is not a one-off either. The plans for a 20mph zone in Davidson Road a couple of years back were just posted to a few lamp posts in Davidson Road which excludes any residents who didn't pass those lamp posts on foot and anyone not on foot at all. The previous use of the 'Davidson Centre' for a Sixth Form Centre was actually pretty reasonable but that just appeared one day without any comment whatsoever. Proper consultation involves taking positive action to engage with residents, not relying on residents to come across information for themselves.




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Gavin Barwell, House of Commons, SW1A 1AA, Tel  020 8660 0491      © Gavin Barwell  2017       Promoted by Ian Parker on behalf of Gavin Barwell, both at 36 Brighton Road, Purley, CR8 2LG