Plans to expand Surbiton schools to ease places crises

This Is Local London: St Andrew's and St Mark's and Maple Infants' could both be expanded by one form of entry St Andrew's and St Mark's and Maple Infants' could both be expanded by one form of entry

The borough’s school places crisis could be eased if two Surbiton schools are given the go-ahead to expand and create 60 permanent places a year.

Kingston Council has set out proposals to expand St Andrew’s and St Mark’s Church of England Junior School and Maple Infants’ School by one form of entry each.

The plan that is estimated to cost about £2.9m would be funded by the Educational Funding Agency after leader of the council Liz Green and Councillor David Ryder-Mills, lead member for schools and continuing education, lobbied the government for the much-needed cash.

Coun Ryder-Mills said: “We cornered [schools minister] David Laws when he came to the borough.

"We then went to see him. We have been using people we know within his department to put the case as well.

“In the past we’ve really had to scrimp around. They finally recognised that the need for additional school places in Kingston is particularly acute.”

The schools, that both have a two-form entry and currently admit 60 children a year, could expand by another entry form taking in an extra 30 children by September and every year after if the plans are agreed.

Both Maple Road schools will also gain new buildings and facilities to support the extra 60 children.

Maple Infants’ headteacher Liz Robinson said: “Kingston Council is, at present, in the process of consulting with the community about a permanent expansion to three-form entry at Maple Infants’.

“Meetings are being held at the school to consult and discuss the proposal. We are a community school in the heart of Surbiton and, of course, see it as our duty to provide places for the local children whose numbers are increasing.

"The task at hand is to create a design for expansion that will improve our facilities with the minimum of disruption for our existing pupils.”

To have your say in the consultation email head of school place commissioning Matthew Paul at matthew.paul@rbk.kingston.gov.uk or call him on 020 8891 7588.

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