|Council Plans For More Primary School Places|
Borough wide consultation omits Chiswick where possibilities ‘still being explored’
Hounslow Council are currently seeking the views of parents and carers of school and pre-school age children to help them decide where extra primary school places should be created in the borough.
However, the borough wide consultation omits the Chiswick are where ‘possibilities are still being explored’. A council spokesperson said that the authority must “make sure we get the proposals right, and that's more important than rushing”
As the birth rate across Hounslow grows, and new housing developments bring more people into the area, demand for places at local primary schools is growing. The council is currently looking at how to meet the extra demand.
Lead member for children’s services and education at the council Cllr Paul Lynch, said: “We can’t just cram more children into existing classrooms and as demand will be spread across the borough, building new schools isn’t really feasible.”
Because of this, the council is looking to expand the number of places at some existing schools.
Cllr Lynch explained: “Expanding the number of classes at existing schools, where possible, is better value for money than providing the same number on a new site. Larger primary schools are also more flexible to demand should the current increase in birth rate reverse in the future. It also benefits school staff as it means responsibility for many of the new duties can be spread more evenly among more staff.”
Deciding exactly where expansion will take place means identifying where the number of children is growing.
“This is difficult when trying to gauge the impact of new housing developments because, until they are occupied we don’t know the ages of any children, or if these are families that have moved from elsewhere in the borough, or from further afield.”
The consultation booklet can be seen at http://www.hounslow.gov.uk/school_places_jan09.pdf
February 11, 2009