More school places on the way for Merton

Children in Merton will have increased access to school places in the borough following Merton Council’s cabinet decision to permanently expand both Hollymount and Joseph Hood primary schools.

Last night the cabinet agreed that both schools’ temporary expansions should be made permanent from September 2011, taking the capacity of each school from 210 pupils, plus nursery, to 420 pupils by 2015.

The increasing demand for school places is a trend seen across London with many boroughs struggling to find capacity for children entering reception year.

To meet demand across Merton in 2008/09 and 2009/10 six schools (Holy Trinity, Wimbledon Chase, St Thomas of Canterbury, Benedict, Hollymount and Joseph Hood) have provided additional reception year classes with a view to arrangements becoming permanent. Three further schools will take an additional reception class this September (Aragon, Cranmer and Bishop Gillpin as a one year bulge). Pupil forecasts indicate that up to a further nine forms of entry, making 18 in total, will be needed across Merton by 2012/13.

Councillor Peter Walker, cabinet member for education at Merton Council said:

‘Ensuring there are sufficient places in Merton schools is an absolute priority for the council. We are delighted at this time of pressure on public spending, that we are able to expand first class state provision in our primary schools for our children.”

“Hollymount and Joseph Hood both have good Ofsted ratings and I’m sure many parents will feel a sense of relief to know that the chances of securing a permanent school place for their child will be much higher.”