Grove Park Primary School To Expand
Over £54 million will be invested on fifteen schools across borough
Hounslow Council is to expand Grove Park Primary School in Chiswick as part of its plan to invest £54 million to provide more primary school places across the borough.
The school is the only one in W4 chosen for expansion according to the Council's list, although William Hogarth Primary School in Chiswick is in the process of expanding to two forms each year.
A number of parents at Grove Park Primary school and some local residents had objected to expansion claiming the school consultation process was a "sham" and the Council had failed to listen to their concerns.
A spokesperson for the parents said they were "disappointed and saddened" by the consultation process which appeared to have been a "done deal" all along. She said of the 35 responses to the formal consultation regarding Grove Park Primary school, thirty were opposed to expansion. There was concern amongst the group that emails sent as part of the consultation had been bounced back and though they had sought explanations from the Council, they had received nothing back on that matter.
She said the parents would now focus on making sure the build for the expansion would not further prejudice the social and educational wellbeing of their children.
Some of their objections included a claim that Grove Park Primary would lose its ‘community feel’, that expansion would create road and safety hazards with extra school traffic, and that the birthrate in Grove Park, (at between 0-15%) did not suggest there was a demand in the local area.
But Hounslow Council had said that the latest data showed there was a need for an additional form of entry in the area, and Grove Park had been identified as the most suitable location for expansion.
The Council's plans, approved at the Dec 4 cabinet meeting, will see 15 primary schools expanded to help meet the demand for places across the borough.
The expansion of the schools from September 2014/2015 is subject to planning consent being obtained by December 2013.
Cllr Steve Curran, cabinet member for education and housing at the council, said: “The growth in the demand for places we are looking at for the next few years is huge, and there is no corner of the borough that is unaffected.
“Local schools are incredibly popular and we are determined to try to make sure parents are able to get a place at their local school.
“These plans will help us make sure parents have a better choice of places to send their children for years to come.
“We have selected these schools for a number of reasons, such as demand in the area, whether the site has capacity to expand, and if the works can be completed without unmanageable disruption.
“All of our schools understand the need we have to provide school places for our children and we’ve discussed with them how the expansions can also bring additional benefits to both pupils and staff.”
The council consulted on expanding 17 schools across the borough, but two sites – St Paul’s CE Primary in Brentford, and Wellington Primary School in Hounslow – have been withdrawn.
Hounslow has seen a rapid increase in the number of school-aged children in recent years and, in order to provide the capacity to give these children the education they need, the council has been creating extra places at schools that have the potential to expand and where demand is highest.
Since 2008 the council has increased the number of places across the borough, adding individual classes (known as ‘bulge’ classes) and completely expanding a school.
More classes have already been provided for this the current academic year to meet the increasing demand for places across the borough. This has seen almost 800 additional school places added across 24 primary schools, as well as extra places have been set up for children with special education needs.
The schools chosen for expansion are:
December 5, 2012