Kingston leads London campaign for primary school funding

Kingston Council is playing a key role in the London-wide campaign which last week demanded £740 million of government money to guarantee every five year old a primary school place over the next five years.

Cllr Tricia Bamford (Lib Dem, Exec Member for Children and Young People’s Services) contributed to the research by London Councils, which found that 2,250 children in the capital will be without a reception class place this year.

Continuing the campaign, Patrick Leeson, Director of Learning and Children’s Services, will give evidence to a meeting of MPs, Peers and Councillors in the House of Commons on Tuesday 28 April, about the London crisis.

Commenting, Cllr Bamford said:
“This campaign shows that London is united. Councils across the capital are facing a shortage of primary school places, and are speaking with one voice when they demand urgent government action to solve the problem.

“Research by London Councils has pin-pointed the cause of the problem – increasing birth rates and the impact of the recession. All in all, three quarters of London boroughs are suffering.

“Here in Kingston we are taking action to deal with the problem. Last week we set out Kingston’s plans to consult with schools and parents about expanding existing schools and building new schools to deal with increasing numbers.

“However, in common with other London boroughs, Kingston suffers a funding shortfall – in our case £20-30m.

“We all remember the bad old days when Kingston suffered the biggest class sizes in England. We abolished this. Now the government needs to support our plans to prevent this happening again.”

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