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Multi-million pound school expansion officially opens

Published Thursday, 17 July 2014

The latest addition to Enfield Council’s multi million pound school expansion programme threw open its doors on Tuesday (15 July) when the Mayor of Enfield, Cllr Ali Bakir, officially opened the building.

George Spicer

The £6.7 million project at George Spicer School’s Kimberley Gardens site, Enfield, has seen the school grow from 630 to 840 pupils with new buildings to house reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils. Facilities in the new block will include 12 classrooms, a multi-purpose hall, kitchen facilities and space for staff and administrative support. In all the expansion will provide space for 360 pupils when it reaches full capacity in 2018.

It welcomed its first new Year 2 pupils in May this year and Reception and Year 1 pupils will move into the new facilities when the new academic year starts in September. Enfield Council is spending more than £55 million on the current phase of its school expansion programme and has allocated a further £44 million for future expansions.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Children’s Services and Protection, Cllr Ayfer Orhan, said: “Every borough in London is facing significant pressure on primary school places and we have been working incredibly hard with the schools in Enfield to meet the significant need for primary school places in the borough and our £55 million school expansion programme will provide more new places for children in the areas in which they are most needed by 2018.

“The new Kimberley Gardens Site is a fantastic facility that will provide first rate facilities and teaching for hundreds of pupils, George Spicer is a good school with a fantastic track record of getting the best out of its pupils and these new buildings mean even more children will benefit from a first rate education. “

“We have a long term commitment to improve facilities and provide extra school places in the areas they are most needed. Our plans are to build more school facilities in the coming years and we are determined to provide enough primary school places across Enfield to give parents a better chance of getting a place at a school close to where they live.”

George Spicer Primary School Headteacher, Hilary Ballantine said: “The new facilities at George Spicer School will give us the opportunity to provide a first rate education to our increasing school population in fantastic new facilities. We believe in encouraging and nurturing children so they can achieve the best possible results in life and this expansion will help us provide a superb education to our pupils in a wonderful setting.”

The George Spicer expansion is the first of eight major building projects to be completed in the current phase of Enfield’s School Expansion Project which will provide over 1,500 new school places.

Other schools involved in the programme are Edmonton County, which is becoming an all through school, Chesterfield Primary School, Highfield Primary School, Garfield Primary School, Grange Park Primary School, Prince of Wales Primary School and Worcesters Primary School.

An additional 4,410 primary places have been provided since 2010 and under the school expansion programme all eight schools will be expanded to add 2,100 new primary places.

Further plans are being developed to further increase the number of permanent school places to help cope with an estimated increase in the school age population. Under the expansion programme over forty new classrooms are currently being built along with better school dining facilities and improved playing areas.

In 2013 the Local Government Association predicted half of school districts would have more primary pupils than school places for them within two years.

In all, 98% of applicants for Reception places for this September were able to go to a school of their choice with 83% going to their first choice school. Enfield Council offered 93% of parents their children a place in their first or second choice school last year – the fourth best performance in London.

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