Merton set to educate more children locally

Merton Council is all set to educate a greater number of children within walking distance from their home.

Just last week, Wimbledon Chase Primary School officially opened its brand new £4.8 million extension. Well-known choreographer and former pupil, Akram Khan, opened the new building which will allow the school to accommodate an additional 210 pupils, bringing the total to 630 plus a nursery.

Also last week, Merton Abbey School’s governing body agreed to provide an additional reception class to accommodate an increased number of Merton children starting school this year. The 210-pupil school has also agreed to provide an additional class for children starting reception in September 2012. In the short-term, the so-called bulge class will allow for an extra 30 children this year and next to be educated local to where they live.

The council is making plans to provide the school with a modern double classroom block, ready for occupation by the end of November.

Looking to the longer-term future of the school, the governing body has also agreed to work with Merton Council to assess the feasibility of permanent expansion, which would mean permanent new buildings for the school.

Eighteen schools in Merton have successfully taken on an extra class over the past three years, allowing more children to be educated in schools a short walk from their home.

Cabinet member for education, Councillor Peter Walker said: “We believe in providing our young people with a quality education close to their home. These new facilities will also give our young people the opportunity to learn in a first-class learning environment.”