Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Oliver Gerrish, Thurrock Council's cabinet member for education, has welcomed the huge increases in the number of primary school places available across Chafford Hundred.
He said: "Over the last year Thurrock Council has created 90 extra primary places in and around Chafford Hundred - 30 at Chafford Hundred Primary, 30 at Tudor Court, and 30 at Stifford.
"In January a total of 270 Chafford Hundred parents applied for a place in a Chafford Hundred school - all but 23 were successful and each of those 23 was offered a place within 1½ miles of their home.
"We know there needs to be more places for children in the West of the borough and the council has been talking to the Department for Education about this, exploring various options."
He added: "The Leader of the Council and I are determined that this issue remains top of the agenda - as long as some parents still have trouble securing places there will be more to do.
"However, this should not detract from the great strides that we have already made.
"I am very proud of the work we have been doing to add additional capacity to Thurrock's schools.
"Anyone driving or walking by Thurrock schools at the moment will see the amazing amount of building work going on - more classrooms and facilities to support our young people."
Cllr Gerrish said: "Additional school places need money to build the schools and classrooms, they need money to pay for equipment and they need money to pay for teachers.
"Securing this money from the government is more difficult than ever. However, we are determined to do all that we can to keep delivering further places.
"That's why I am very encouraged that parents and the Thurrock MP appear to be supportive of our efforts to increase the supply of school places through whatever means necessary - be that by adding classrooms or assisting a free school to open in the area."