Croydon given £33m cash boost for school places
Croydon has received a £33m cash boost from the Government to help cope with the extra demand for schools places.
The borough was originally in line to receive a total of £110m from the Government to put towards the council’s school building programme.
In March 2013 it was given £63m from the Department of Education to be spent over two years and a further £47m earlier on in the year which is to be spent on specific school projects.
But, in an effort by the Government to make sure councils have enough time to plan ahead and ensure every child has a school place, councils have been given a third allocation of funding.
Croydon Council has now been given an extra £33m which will be put towards the 2016-17 school year.
It means Croydon has been given more funding than any other borough in London and has recieved the third highest allocation in the country.
It is estimated that the council’s school building programme will cost just under £170m.
The extra funding to help cover this from the Government will help take a lot of strain off the council finances in paying for the programme.
Over the next two years new schools are proposed for sites in Haling Road, London Road, Highbury Avenue, the former general hospital site in Broad Green, and Westways resource centre on St James' Road to help cope with an influx of pupils.
This is in addition to proposals at Segas House in Katharine Street and South Norwood sports arena.
Permanent expansions are planned at ARK Oval, West Thornton and St Joseph's primary schools and about 10 extra temporary classes are expected to be in place for next September.
Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, who was involved with procuring the extra funding for Croydon, said it was great news for the borough.
He said: "One of my top priorities as an MP is ensuring that as Croydon’s population grows, we see the necessary improvements in local infrastructure to cater for that population.
"More school places, a bigger A&E department, more capacity in public transport. This is a big step in the right direction."
Councillor Tim Pollard, cabinet member for Children, Families and Learning said the extra £33m will help the council deliver their schools plan as well as costing Croydon taxpayers less.
He said: "It is a very great help to get this additional funding for another year and we continue to do our best to deliver within the kind of budgets we have got."
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