Pop­u­la­tion rise fu­els school places fears

County coun­cil seeks to as­sure wor­ried par­ents

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jack Abell jack.abell@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

BUCKS County Coun­cil has moved to al­lay fears about a lack of spa­ces for young­sters set to start school in Septem­ber.

Last week, we re­ported that nearly one in 20 pupils in Bucks missed out on their first choice of pri­mary or sec­ondary school for this com­ing aca­demic year.

The fig­ures from the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion showed that five per cent of pupils in the county missed out on their first choice of pri­mary school, with 4.9per cent miss­ing out on their first choice of sec­ondary school.

In Bea­cons­field, there have been con­cerns that the ex­pand­ing pop­u­la­tion of the town in re­cent years is lead­ing to some chil­dren hav­ing be­ing forced to look for school places out­side of the town al­to­gether.

A source con­nected to one of the pri­mary schools in Bea­cons­field, who has asked not to be named, said: “The pop­u­la­tion here is grow­ing all the time. It is get­ting more and more dif­fi­cult for par­ents to find their chil­dren spa­ces at schools in Bea­cons­field. It is a ridicu­lous sit­u­a­tion to be in.”

How­ever, the county coun­cil has as­sured par­ents that it does all that it can to en­sure chil­dren are able to go to school lo­cally.

It said that pop­u­la­tion changes are mon­i­tored to en­sure that there are enough school spa­ces.

A state­ment from the county coun­cil said: “The county coun­cil keeps its fin­ger on the pulse of pop­u­la­tion changes and hous­ing de­vel­op­ment to en­sure suf­fi­cient school places. In the past two years, around 1,750 ad­di­tional school places have been cre­ated.

“The coun­cil con­stantly mon­i­tors and re­views pop­u­la­tion changes and there are cur­rently plans to pro­vide more than 2,500 places over the next few years, largely in Ayles­bury and Wy­combe.

“In towns with sig­nif­i­cant new hous­ing de­vel­op­ment, the county coun­cil se­cures fund­ing from de­vel­op­ers as part of the plan­ning process to­wards the cost of ad­di­tional school places.”

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