A trio of sites have been earmarked as suitable for a new secondary school to meet spiralling demand in the borough.

The schools would have to be academies or free schools under education rules, which mean Merton Council would not have overall control of them.

The Chaucer Conference Centre in Canterbury Road, Morden, Worsfold House in Church Road, Mitcham and a children’s centre in Leyton Road, Colliers Wood have been earmarked to house new secondary schools.

The three have been whittled down from 41 originally named in the Merton Council's Sites and Policies plan.

All of the sites are owned by the council.

Councillor Martin Whelton, cabinet member for education said: "We need to provide more places from 2018 but first we need to fill the existing places.

"This is important for forward planning.

"These three sites could potentially be used; they are already in the council’s hands."

Coun Whelton said the Chaucer Centre was a school until the 1980s when it was closed down.

The former school buildings are now used as a conference centre, with ten meeting rooms, catering facilities and car park.

The single storey Leyton Road site is used by Merton Youth Services and Action for Children and is bordered by All Saints Recreation ground to the north and housing to the south and west.

Sites all over Merton had been long-listed in the original proposals but these three have been deemed most suitable by independent inspector Robert Yuille after a hearing in January this year.

The hearing report states the demand for primary places can be met with the expansion of existing premises.

It said: "Latest assessments indicate the need for secondary school places will require both the expansion of existing schools and the provision of new ones."

Any development would require planning permission from the council.