The council has been forced to issue a correction after wrongly claiming it had provided enough reception places at schools in time for children to start the new term.

Richmond Council announced three days before the beginning of the academic year it had created enough spaces for every youngster, despite huge demand.

But 30 children who were due to start at Orleans Infant School, in Hartington Road, Twickenham, will miss four months of lessons while it finishes building a new classroom.

The council’s correction said it had allocated a place for every youngster by September 5, but conceded one class at Orleans Infant School would not begin until January.

Councillor Stephen Knight, leader of Richmond’s Liberal Democrat group, said: “Knowing full well they hadn’t got places for 30 children to start in September, to put out a press release saying ‘everyone is in school, isn’t it marvellous’ is appalling.

“I’m please they’ve admitted their mistake and put out a correction but it’s a bit late.”

Parent Biba Fielding said the council’s claim it had successfully provided for all children in the borough “really left me cold” as her two-year-old son also missed the start of the term when he could have been settling in and making new friends.

Coun Knight said one unhappy family had contacted the Local Government Ombudsman.

Councillor Paul Hodgins, cabinet member for schools at Richmond Council, said: “Our schools are hugely popular and we have seen further increases in the demand for places again this year. Parents have every right to expect a place for their children and I am delighted they have all been allocated one.

“Working with schools, we have looked to maximise existing space, so we haven’t wasted money providing temporary measures or by over-providing places.

“I’d like to thank the St Margarets and East Twickenham parents and Orleans Infant School who both engaged with the council so constructively on a challenging situation there.”

The council faces increasing pressure to expand its primary schools due to the borough’s steadily rising birth rate, which increased from 2,384 in 2000 to 2,992 in 2010.

It had to create an additional 11 classes, four temporary and seven permanent, to cope with the huge demand this year.

To apply online for a primary school place, visit