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East End gets £15m to expand primary school places

PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 May 2010 | UPDATED: 15:59 05 October 2010

MORE primary school places are being added in London’s deprived East End. Plans have been agreed by local education chiefs to expand a second primary school after a campaign by parents unable to get their kids local places

By Mike Brooke

MORE primary school places are being added in London's deprived East End.

Plans have been agreed by local education chiefs to expand a second primary school after a campaign by parents unable to get their kids local places.

Tower Hamlets has been given £15.5m Whitehall cash to rebuild and refurbish its primary schools in one of London's most deprived area.

Nearly £3m of that has been earmarked to expand Wellington Primary in Mile End, which currently admits 45 children each year. The proposals would increase intake numbers to 60.

Consultations have already begun with parents, staff, governors and trade unions.

Tower Hamlets Council's Head of Learning, Anne Canning, said: "We are facing increasing demand like many inner city local authorities for more primary places and are working with head teachers to come up with solutions."

It follows on expansion of another school just a mile away which has recently opened its new wing.

The extension at Stepney's Ben Jonson Primary turns it from two-form entry to three-form, creating an extra 30 places each year.

The extra class of infants has already been established since January. The three and four-year-olds move up to the next year group in September when a new Reception class opens, and so on each September until the school reaches its full capacity of 630 pupils by 2016.

The new wing has added eight new classrooms, including rooms dedicated to Art and Technology.

The extension comes with a green roof to attract the endangered Red Start birds. Solar panels feed directly into a display panel in the building, letting the children monitor how much energy they're getting from the sun.

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