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Council launches consultation amid rising demand for school places

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: June 23, 2012

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HAVERING Council, which closed down primary schools three years ago, has now launched a consultation to address rising demand for school places.

Dunningford Primary School was closed when it was merged with Ayloff Primary School in 2009.

In the same year, Manor Primary School in Romford was shut due to falling numbers.

But the council has now produced a questionnaire due to growing demand for places at Havering primary schools.

The council says it has to make more places available for the future, and the trend will also affect secondary schools in the years to come.

Councillor Paul Rochford, cabinet member for children & learning, said: "Primary school numbers were projected to fall from around 18,300 in 2007 to some 17,868 by 2012. Pupil numbers were considered to increase marginally again from 2013 but it was difficult to assess the rate of growth, given those pupils have yet to be born.

"In the Rainham, South Hornchurch and Elm Park locality in which Dunningford was located, there was considered to be a need to reduce overall capacity, as a 15 per cent surplus of places was forecast by 2011/12. Neither Ayloff nor Dunningford had been recruiting to their admission capacity.

"Removal of those places was considered to be the way to improve the balance between supply and demand in the area whilst maintaining a sensible geographical spread of places located in both newly built and modernised schools."

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