MPs press for urgent funding to avert looming primary school place crisis

March 4, 2009 10:11 AM

The borough's MPs Tom Brake and Paul Burstow made an urgent plea to the Government today for funds to prevent a shortage in primary school places in the borough which could hit as early as this autumn.

Speaking today in a parliamentary debate the local MPs set out the circumstances which have led to the school shortage and how vital it is that the Government release money almost immediately to increase the capacity of local schools.

Without funding for more primary schools places by 2011 there will be 147 to 271 children without a classroom place, rising to between 209 and 337 in the following school year, 2012-13.

The MPs are warning that unless the Government gives the green light to £4.8 million of emergency funding to pay for two existing schools to be upgraded and two more schools to be expanded, Sutton Council will struggle to find the funding for around 100 children in reception class in September 2009.

Commenting after the debate, Tom Brake MP said;

"We need the Government to act now; there isn't time for lengthy reviews and consultations. At the very least £4.8 million is needed now. What ever happened to Labour's priority of education, education, education?'

Paul Burstow MP added:

"The borough's primary schools are already full. Some parents already have difficulties getting their children into the primary school of their choice. I am sure the Education Minister wouldn't want classfuls of children left standing at the school gate for want of a school place this September.

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