|Go Ahead For West Acton School To Increase|
East Acton looks set to take in more pupils too
Efforts to ease the chronic shortage of school places in Acton have been approved by the council.
The Cabinet has agreed initial plans to permanently expand West Acton Primary School and to create new places for children with special educational needs in Greenford.
West Acton Primary School is adjacent to West Acton Community Centre. Proposals have been drawn up that will see it expanding into space at the back of the community centre. This will be done without demolishing the existing building or requiring users to move.
Acton, along with other parts of the borough, is currently experiencing a significant rise in demand for primary school places. As well as an increase in the number of babies born in the area, more people than ever before are choosing to send their children to a state primary school.
This proposed expansion is subject to further consultation in the Spring. If it goes ahead, it will increase the number of spaces available by creating an additional 30 places per year group from September 2013.
In addition, East Acton Primary School will take in 30 extra pupils this year and next year, which it's hoped will also help to meet the local demand.
Cabinet also agreed to fund 30 new places for pupils with autism spectrum disorder at the new high school planned for Greenford. This new provision will be attached to the main school and give specialist support within a mainstream setting. Pupils with these kinds of complex needs currently have to choose between either a special school or a mainstream school, neither of which may fully meet their needs.
Councillor Patricia Walker, cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “We are experiencing an unprecedented number of applications for primary school places. Not only are more babies being born in the borough, but more people are also staying in Ealing and opting to send their children to our schools.
“This is a testament to the high standard of our schools, but it is creating challenges. We are meeting these challenges head-on with an ambitious programme of expansions in the areas that need it most.
“This is difficult in Acton, because of the shortage of suitable sites, but I am pleased to say that in this case we have reached a solution that has the support of both the school and the community centre.”
In welcoming this decision Conservative Group Leader Councillor David Millican:
"This is the right decision for the club and the school. Acton needs more school places. But speaking at the Cabinet meeting, when the decision was made, ruling Labour Councillors would give no commitment to regenerating the West Acton Community Centre. They pointedly have not allocated any money to do this. So this leaves the users of the Community Centre in the lurch. This has to be sorted out"
The decision was made by the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, 21 February 2012. All Cabinet decisions are subject to call-in for a period of five working days from the date of publication of the minutes of the meeting.
22nd February 2012