Borough schools set to expand

By Jim Dunton - Tue 20 August 2013, 11:15 am

Ministers have awarded Barking & Dagenham Council funding to provide more than 2,000 additional pupil places at three borough schools.

The move follows the authority’s application to the government’s Targeted Basic Need Programme for £36 million to help meet demand caused by rising pupil numbers.

The cash will pay for 900 additional places at Robert Clack School, which has multiple sites in Dagenham; 750 places at Barking Abbey School, in Sandringham Road; and 446 places at Eastbury Comprehensive, in Hulse Avenue, Barking.

The council said it was “delighted“ with the award, but that the funding still fell short of what was needed.

Deputy council leader Rocky Gill said the authority needed an annual £50 million to secure sufficient places for local children, and that the borough’s school population was forecast to rise until at least 2020.

“Last September, 1,000 more children entered reception than left to go to secondary school and the council is on target to create the new places needed in our secondary schools as the increased numbers move into secondary school,” he said .

“We are determined that every pupil should not just have a place, but that the growth in the system is, as far as possible, concentrated in schools that parents and pupils really want to go to.”

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