Primary school spaces demand leaves dozens in Croydon without a place

Croydon Guardian: Elmwood Infant School Croydon’s most popular primary school was Croydon's most popular primary school receiving 580 applications for a space. Elmwood Infant School Croydon’s most popular primary school was Croydon's most popular primary school receiving 580 applications for a space.

Demand for primary school places forced 54 children to attend a school outside Croydon this September.

Figures obtained from a Freedom of Information request also show 171 children did not receive a place at any of the schools they listed, leaving Croydon Council to make the decision of where their child will be educated.

Nine schools in Croydon received over 400 applications for sometimes as little as 30 places.

Croydon’s most popular primary school was Elmwood Infant School which received 580 applications.

Howard Primary School received 434 applications for just 30 places, with over 14 children applying for each place.

Earlier this year, the Greater London Authority found Croydon was the only London borough which did not have 99 per cent of children attending schools in either their own borough or a neighbouring one in 2012.

Croydon has been flagged as one of the most likely to see increased competition for primary school places as London’s school age population jumps by nearly 100,000 between now and 2017.

Chris Philp, Conservative candidate for Croydon South MP, said: "We must work to make sure that all Croydon parents can get their children into Croydon schools if they want to.

"We must remain vigilant and make sure that schools funding from the Government keeps pace with the population growth, and that there is enough school capacity to meet demand."

The Council have recently announced they are providing 5,220 new primary school places by September 2015.

Croydon Council’s school building programme has been awarded £110m from central government with seven proposed new schools.

There will also be permanent expansions at ARK Oval, West Thornton and St Joseph’s primary schools and about ten extra temporary classes expected to be in place for September.

A council spokesman said: "Parents can be confident that in future years Croydon will continue to provide a school place for every child who needs one."

He warned that there is an ongoing issue with people not filling in their applications forms correctly and not using all six options they are allowed.

Councillor Tim Pollard, the council's cabinet member for children, families and learning, said: "This year every parent who applied on time for a place for their child received an offer of a suitable school.

"We are committed to making sure that regardless of how many applications we receive we maintain this achievement."

He added: "Croydon's educational standards are improving at a time when national results are in decline, showing that our twin focus on standards and places available is continuing to pay off."





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