£4m expansion plan to tackle school places crisis

£4m expansion plan to tackle school places crisis

Lucy Elder

£4m expansion plan to tackle school places crisis

The expansion of Ellington Primary School in Maidenhead that would see admissions double and its name and uniform changed look set to be rubber-stamped by the Royal Borough.

The sweeping changes to the site in Cookham Road have been drafted as part of a £4m bid to tackle growing student numbers across the town and recommended for approval at a cabinet meeting on Thursday.

The move is part of a report on how to create 246 extra primary places and would see Ellington admissions increase from 30 to 60 per year group from September.

If approved, the school would also change its name to Riverside Primary School and the uniform would switch from green to royal blue with a trim.

Chair of governors, Cllr Simon Dudley, said: "We are taking forward truly innovative and inspiring plans for our school, with a vision of being up there with the very best."

In a public consultation run from May 20-July 5, the public were asked to mark their preferences on four options to meet demand for school places in eastern Maidenhead.

The expansion of Ellington Primary received 197 first preferences, which made up 60 per cent of the total and put it at the top of the list.

This compared to 85 first preferences to build a new school at Ray Mill Road East, which was the second favourite.

Ellington primary headteacher Rehana Juna said she and her staff are excited about the move.

There is £4m available for the schemes in the report as well as future expansions which comes from Department for Education basic need allocation, developer contributions to the borough and an extra grant.

The recommendations in the report would also approve feasibility works on increasing the size of two other schools.

All Saints Junior School in Westborough Road could be increased from 67 places to 90 places and Courthouse Junior School in Blenheim Road from 105 to 120, both per year group, if needed.

It would also defer the approval to expand St Luke's CE primary in Cookham Road and St Mary's RC Primary in Cookham Road.

A constant review of year three places in the town is in the recommendations.

The report will be discussed by the children's services overview and scrutiny panel tonight and a decision made by the cabinet next week.

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