London has a major shortage of primary school places for young children starting school. In Lambeth, the area hardest hit is West Norwood and the council is working hard to find the funding to expand existing schools and build a new one.
Lambeth is working with Hitherfield, Sunnyhill and Elmwood schools to provide extra reception classes for the school year from September 2010 to 2011. The aim is to meet the growth in demand until more permanent solutions are in place.
Looking ahead, the council is seeking government funding for a new primary school in West Norwood and is in talks with a number of landowners about possible sites. If it goes ahead, the new school could be open by 2013 and earlier on a temporary site.
Lambeth would also like to rebuild and expand Julian’s School. Work could start in 2011, if funding is confirmed.
Finally, the former Norwood Park School in Gipsy Road, which was the temporary home of the new Elmgreen secondary school for the last two years, is being refurbished as Kingswood’s Early Years Centre, due to open in September 2010. This will house reception classes, a children’s centre and nursery and will enable Kingswood to expand to three-form entry from September 2010.
There’s lots of information about primary schools in the booklet “Starting School in Lambeth” For a copy of the booklet go to www.lambeth.gov.uk/eadmissions or look in your local library. The deadline for applying for a reception place in the 2010 to 2011 school year is 1st February 2010.
Make your views known – sign the e-petition for more primary school places HERE.