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Jul 19 2013

Harrow secures funding for nearly 3,000 additional school places

harrow_council_logoHarrow Council has secured funding to provide nearly 3,000 vitally needed new school places by 2015.

The Department for Education has today announced that it will pay for 2,836 school places to be provided at 15 schools, as well as a new provision for young people with special educational needs at Harrow College.

Schools and Council officers worked together to develop and submit the bids, and as a result Harrow was successful in securing funding for 15 schools and will receive a portion of an £820m pot which is being shared out among 378 schools across the country.

This allocation through the Government’s Targeted Basic Needs Programme, supports the Council’s proposed Phase 2 primary expansion programme which is responding to an unprecedented rise in the number of children in the borough. It will also increase the number of places for children with special educational needs in special schools and in specialist provision in mainstream schools.

The council was also successful in securing £2,500,000 funding for Harrow College to provide 80 Special Educational Needs Places for 19-25 year-olds in a new unit at its Harrow Weald site.

The proposed primary school expansions are in addition to the ambitious Phase 1 primary school expansion programme already underway in which nine schools will be permanently expanded by September 2013. The primary phase one and two expansion programme proposes up to 24 school expansions, including the proposed school that will be part of the development on the Kodak site.

Following Cabinet approval last night (July 18), statutory consultations for Phase 2 will begin in the Autumn Term. The Council will work with the schools to develop the plans and make sure that there is appropriate accommodation for Harrow’s children. Cabinet’s final decision about the expansions are planned for March 2014.

Portfolio Holder for Children Families and Schools Councillor Zarina Khalid, said: “Harrow Council is leading the way when it comes to planning for London’s unprecedented rise in children. I am absolutely delighted that we were successful in securing this funding for so many of our schools. Our Children and Families Department has worked tirelessly with schools to make compelling bids to the Department for Education. We now have funding in place for school expansions which will change the lives and offer new opportunities for our youngest residents.”

Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Susan Hall, said: “The receipt of this funding is exceptionally good news, and we hope it will make a substantial difference as the Council continues with its school expansion programme. Enormous credit is due to the Council officers who worked putting these bids together, and also to the department for Education for recognising Harrow’s needs and funding us accordingly.

Our hope for the school expansion programme is that the Council’s administration will significantly up its game when it comes to consultation. After the debacle surrounding the Vaughan School expansion – where scores of residents felt they had been ignored – they can ill-afford to make the same mistakes again.”

According to national census data, 15,916 children aged under five were recorded in the 2011 Census for Harrow, compared to 12,015 in the 2001 Census – a rise of 32 per cent. The number of pupils with special educational needs is also increasing and the population rise will also impact secondary schools from September 2016 onwards. There is already pressure in Year 10 and Year 11, with around 300 more pupils since 2011.

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4 comments

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  1. concerned_resident

    Following on from the circus like performance of the Vaughan School expansion plans can the residents really trust the current council officers to manage such a budget allocation effectively?

  2. 4Democracy

    I totally agree with you concerned_resident. Will we ever find out how much the Vaughan School expansion will cost? The costs/budgets were drawn up before the council decided to look at their own flood risk assessment of Harrow and discovered they were trying to build somewhere not permitted, i.e.a Flood Plain. Instead of stopping then they decided to disregard their own policy and find ways to work around it. Sensors in the underground culvert, monitors in the school office, diverting the culvert around the playing field, vast attenuation tanks, a pump and a backup pump are all going to push the costs up considerably.

  3. john p hobbs

    3,000 That wont even cover the Eastern Europeans flooding in to Harrow .

  4. john p hobbs

    Then there are the East Africans with somewhere between six and ten kids , I had a friend who worked in a Harrow school they did a little survey about ten years ago and the figure was in my higher bracket I swear to this . When I take the bus from Harrow Weald to Harrow and back which is quite frequently , less than one in ten conversations I hear are in English . There is going to be a massive problem with school places and i have to wait two weeks to see my own Doctor . Northwick Park Hospital well best forget it you will probably die first waiting .

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