Mayor candidate Biggs visits Bow School in push for more places

PUBLISHED: 12:55 06 February 2014 | UPDATED: 12:55 06 February 2014

John Biggs at Bow School building site

John Biggs at Bow School building site

TH Lab Pty

The man challenging controversial Mayor Lutfur Rahman at the polls has taken a sneak look at a new school construction project aimed at helping ease the shortage of classroom places in London’s East End.

John Biggs, the London Assembly’s budget chairman who is Labour’s candidate for Tower Hamlets Mayor in May, met staff and saw progress on the construction of the new Bow School which is due to be finished later this year.

“This building will provided much-needed additional places in Tower Hamlets,” he said.

“The work was funded by the last Government’s ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme. But Coalition government reforms have made building new schools significantly harder.”

He has pledged to “work with parents and schools for new solutions” such as cooperative models and expanding current sites.

There has been rising concern from parents about the shortage of places in Tower Hamlets and a decline this year in the number of pupils getting their first preference. These included 157 youngsters who failed to get any of their five alternative choices and ended up having to be allocated a school they didn’t want.

Bow School’s new premises are scheduled to open in September, with plans to expand entry to girls and open a new Sixth Form.

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