This week, Havering Council have announced that they are investing more than £18 million over the next four years to open new schools and improve and expand existing schools to meet the growing demand for places in the borough.

A new programme of projects is being developed by the council to meet the need for school places from early years to post-16 and special education. This also includes a plan for a new primary school at Beam Park, Rainham.

Options are currently being finalised and will be presented to Council’s cabinet for approval later this year.

Over the past seven years, an extra 5,360 primary school places have already been created. As pupils transfer to secondary schools this has placed a demand on the number of places required, therefore an additional 1,495 places for secondary schools will be delivered by 2020/21.

Funding for schools will come from the school expansion capital programme and ongoing revenue costs will be funded from the Government’s Designated Schools Grant.

The Council recently launched a consultation on planning for future school places. The outcome of this consultation highlighted the following points:

-          Growing parental demand for sixth form places in secondary schools to create more choice, for which we’ll be carrying out an analysis

-          A call for more faith schools. Havering Council have included this as part of their commissioning guidelines, so any future proposals will be considered if there is a need

-          A need for more special educational places

-          Delivering a new free school for children with special educational needs and disabilities as part of the Council’s corporate plan of giving children the best start in life.

The commissioning plan strategy sets out the authority’s aims and aspirations for education provision in the borough. The strategy can be read HERE