Chiswick Schools Get Extra Primary Classes

More reception places created to cope with rising demand

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Three local schools will benefit from a decision by Hounslow Council to create extra reception classes from September to cope with increasing demand.

William Hogarth, Grove Park primary and Southfield School will all get 30 places extra for the next entry-level in 2012 which will enable them to create an extra reception class.

The Council agreed this week to spend £16 million on schools across the borough , creating an additional 600 school places this year. Southfield Primary School comes under the control of Ealing Council though it is situated within W4.

Both Hounslow and Ealing Councils have been under pressure in the past few years, mainly due to the increasing birth-rate, and extra demand for state schools.

In a bid to cope with the rising demand. Ealing Council will submit its planning application this month for a new primary school for the Priory site on Acton Lane, creating places for an extra 60 pupils in the 2013/14 academic year.

And a group in Chiswick is also planning an Anglican primary school, possibly on the site of the former St. Alban’s Church, as reported last week in

The head teacher of The William Hogarth School , Cathy Driscoll said the school was pleased to expand to a two form entry school last September and  to be asked to take a Bulge Class to accommodate the number of children looking for  Reception Classes this year. That will be the only year group in the school which is 3 form entry.

"The William Hogarth  School is growing in popularity and building on the good provision it offers. We have invited any parents who have been offered places in the school but have not been to see the school yet to visit us and see the school at work”.

The head teacher of Grove Park Primary, Mr. Alex Cornelious said; " We have worked closely with the LA to ensure that the bulge class (the extra reception class) becomes an asset to the school and not a hindrance.

We are thrilled that our strong and successful Early Years team will have an opportunity to grow. It also gives those parents who have previously been unable to secure a place at Grove Park an opportunity to become part of our school and get their first choice."

However, he added, that it did raise the question of school places in general and and he expected to hear shortly from the Local Authority which was working on future planning, regarding the possibility of further expansion of his school.

He said it was a “realistic possibility” that at some point the school would have to consider expanding – it is currently a one-form school- but he reassured parents they would work hard to keep the ‘family’ atmosphere if that was the case.

The Hounslow Council meeting last week agreed to create 20 additional classes in schools throughout the Borough and allow for increasing the number of places for children with special education needs (SEN) as well as beginning work on creating more classes for both mainstream and SEN for future years.

And as the offer of places in Reception classes went out to parents this week, Hounslow Council said that every one of the 3,482 children in the Borough, whose parents applied for a place at a local primary schoo,l had been offered one of their choices - up from 3,117 in 2011, and well above the average for London.

The admission figures, released this week, revealed 83 per cent of children have been given a place at their parents’ preferred school, with more than 94 per cent getting one of their top three choices.

Judith Pettersen , director of children’s services and lifelong learning at the London Borough of Hounslow, said: “Making sure every child is offered a place at a local school is a fantastic achievement, and is great news for local parents.

“With the recent increases in population and demand for places at our schools, we’ve had to do a lot of work to make sure we have enough space for local children.

“We have worked with schools to create an extra 600 places for local children starting in September, and are plans are already in motion to make sure we have enough places for the following year.”

The process for applying for primary school places began in September 2011, when the application system opened. Parents had until 15 January to choose up to six schools that they would like their child to attend. Letters and emails informing parents of which school their child has been offered a place , were sent out last Wednesday ( April 18 th).

The total number of applications across the Borough was 3,482, of which 2,898 (83.23%) got their first preference school and 384 (7.64%)got their second preference.

The number of applicants getting their third preference was 92 (3.39%) And 94.26% got a school within their first three preferences, according to the Council which added that no applicant had been left without an offer of a school place this year.

April 20, 2012