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Need for 'three or four' new primary schools in Kingston
Kingston is likely to need “three or four” new primary schools within the next four or five years, councillors believe.
Rising numbers of school-age children in Kingston means the borough will have to find an additional eight classes a year by 2017 or 2018, Councillor David Ryder-Mills, lead member for schools, said.
The alternative is to continue sharing forms of entry out between a group of schools, or even resorting to the dreaded bulge classes.
Despite the potential prospect of finding four new primary schools in four years, Coun Ryder-Mills said he was “optimistic” about the future.
He said: “We have got various projects at various stages, plus two fall back options.
“One is a shared form of entry between two or three schools and then there’s the old, traditional bulge class, but if we could move away from that it would be far more preferable.”
There are currently three public plans for primary schools in the borough – a free school in Motspur Park, one on the former gasholders site in north Kingston and one on the borders of Tolworth and Surbiton.
Coun Ryder-Mills said: “We will probably need at least one in Surbiton and at least one in Kingston.
“The one in Motspur Park will only yield one form of entry for us because it is so close to the borders.
“There are two other schemes that are being mused around and if all this came off we would be getting somewhere.”
The school has already taken on a bulge class this year.
Where could the new schools go?
GASHOLDERS SITE, KINGSTON: PROBABLY
Kingston Council reacted to news of the decommissioning of the iconic gasworks by hastily drawing up a brief for the site that included a new primary school.
While opinions may differ on what else should go on the site, expect the school to stay firmly on the blueprints.
With Lime Tree School and Surbiton Health Centre opening on the former Surbiton Hospital site, could the Red Lion Road hospital be in line for a similar revamp?
SPORTS GROUND, MOTSPUR PARK: MAYBE
The derelict sports ground is the preferred site for free school bidders Chapel Street's Park Community School, due to open by September 2014.
A music venue, flats, offices, a boutique cinema - it seems the only suggestion that has not been made for this building is a primary school.
EWELL RD/DITTON RD, TOLWORTH: NEVER
This large plot of land has been empty for years. Developer CNM Estates has announced work is to begin on Surbiton Point - 23 Red Square-style flats with retail units.
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