Over 200 additional reception places will be available to every Merton child who needs one from September 2011.
The decision follows a borough-wide consultation last month involving parents, schools and residents affected by schools expansion proposals, following unprecedented increase in demand for places. Over 500 responses were received and resulted in the following schools offering 30 additional places this September:
· All Saints CE
· Gorringe Park
· St Mary’s RC
· William Morris
The council is also applying to the Schools Adjudicator to provide an additional 30 reception places at Wimbledon Park School by setting up an Admissions Priority Area (APA) which provides greater priority for places to the west and south of the school. This is due to Bishop Gilpin’s decision not to provide an extra class, resulting in no school available for local residents to apply for in this area. The schools adjudicator is expected to make a decision in February and a meeting will be held with parents of Wimbledon Park School in January.
The extra class at All Saints CE School will remain at the East Road site with a view to permanently expanding the school at the South Wimbledon Community Centre and Youth Centre building from September 2012. Work is taking place to ensure both sets of users can either continue to use the facility or find a suitable alternative in the next 18 months.
Merton Council cabinet member for education Councillor Peter Walker said: “We have worked extremely hard to ensure we can provide school places for every pupil who needs one next year, but the large increase in the child population continues to be extremely challenging. Parents who need a reception year place for September 2011 should complete their application by the closing date of 15 January 2011. They can state a preference for up to six schools in Merton and neighbouring boroughs, and parents are advised to use as many of these preferences as possible to maximize their chances of a school offer.”
For more information about the consultation and proposed expansion plans visit http://www.merton.gov.uk/schoolsconsultations