Fears grow over Croydon’s school places crisis
Croydon parents are facing a growing shortage of school places in the borough. According to the Local Government Association, the borough has the highest growth in demand for places in the country. Croydon Council’s own figures show that Croydon could have a shortage of 2,475 places by 2016 if the Government refuses to increase planned funding to build more schools and additional classrooms.
This month alone, Steve Reed MP has visited Cypress Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School, St Cyprian’s Primary School, Elmwood Infants School, and St Joseph’s College. He spoke to parents and children at each school to hear their concerns over the shortage of places and the growing pressure for bulge classes added to increasingly overcrowded schools. Steve is also supporting campaigns for new schools in Crystal Palace and Thornton Heath.
Some schools designed to accept 60 new children each year are now forced to take double that number. The pressure on space means more children are being taught in portakabins and temporary classrooms built on playgrounds. The Tory-led Government claims there is not enough money to provide the school places local children need, but at the same time they are wasting millions to open schools in areas that have no shortage of places.
Steve Reed MP said: “One of the first thing this Government did was to cut the country’s school-building programme in half despite knowing that babies born at the time would need school places within a few years. Now we are reaping the whirlwind of that decision with overcrowded schools and growing numbers of young children forced to travel miles across London to get an education.”
He added: “Every child deserves the best start in life. It simply beggars belief that the Tories refuse to invest enough on the places children need here in Croydon while wasting millions on free schools in wealthier areas that have enough school places already.”