Places promise after Richmond gets an extra £8.9m

School relief: Zac Goldsmith welcomed the money

School relief: Zac Goldsmith welcomed the money

First published in News
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Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Every child in Richmond should get a school place after a Government investment of £8.9m.

The cash is in addition to the £5bn already being spent, which means that between 2013 and 2017 schools in Richmond will get £8.9m.

Last year a number of children in the borough were left without places at preferred schools.

MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston Zac Goldmsith said: “The last Government ignored the fact that rising birth rates meant we will need thousands more school places in the coming years, and did little to prepare.

“It is great news for young people in the Richmond Park constituency that the Government has found billions of extra funding to ensure every child has a place at school so that they can fulfil their potential.”

Richmond Council cabinet member for schools, Councillor Paul Hodgins, said:  “We welcome the additional £8.9m Government investment which will bolster our already highly successful 10-year primary school expansion strategy.

“Demand for primary school places again reached an all time high last year. Despite this surge Richmond Council placed more in-borough applicants than previous years with 92 per cent offered a place at one of their preferred schools compared to 91 per cent in 2012 and 89 per cent in 2011.

“As ever, all applicants were offered places in good time for September.

“For 2013 entry, an additional permanent form of entry for 30 children was provided at the Heathfield schools.

“For September 2014 entry, both Nelson Primary School and the Vineyard Primary School will be permanently expanded to three-form entry. To keep the momentum going, the council will, next week, publish a notice of a proposal to expand Darrell Primary School permanently from September also.”

It is the first time that councils have had three-year allocations of funding to spend on school places, so Richmond Council can plan ahead to ensure every child has a school place.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said the coalition Government had taken action to repair the damage done by Labour when they cut 200,000 primary places.

He said: “We have more than doubled funding for new school places and we are also setting up great new free schools, which are giving parents a choice of high quality school places in areas Labour neglected.”

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