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Slough primary schools to receive improvements to expand pupil numbers

20/10/2016 Joanna

New primary school places are to be created in Slough under £20 million plans from the local council to expand and improve three primary schools in the central area of the town.

The Town Hall site of Claycots Primary is to be expanded through the scheme, as well as St Mary's CE Primary and James Elliman Academy. In total, the three projects will create 840 new primary school places.

The three schools have already worked with the council to provide four additional reception classes for the September 2015 and 2016 intake, with these pupils currently being accommodated in temporary buildings. Work has also been undertaken alongside Slough Urban Renewal to ensure the redevelopment plans provide enhanced learning environments with improved teaching spaces, dining halls and libraries.

Some of these additional improvements include a new entrance and sports hall for St Mary's Primary, a larger dining area and playground for James Elliman Academy and a new sports hall and school kitchen for Claycots Primary.

Building work commenced in July during the school holidays, with major changes already visible across all three schools. The £20 million council funding comes from its basic need grant allocation, which is provided annually by the government to meet the shortfall of places in an area.

All three projects are expected to be complete by the end of 2017, and are likely to represent the last large-scale expansion of Slough's primary schools for the near term. However, a new all-through free school is also due to open next year, and it is expected that these projects will provide enough reception classes for several years.

Councillor Sabia Hussain, commissioner for health and social care at Slough Borough Council, said: "While Slough faces unprecedented pressure on school places, we have always managed to ensure every child is given a school place - something we are very proud of.

"As the council is unable to build new schools, we can only provide new school places through expansion projects and these can only be delivered with support from our local schools who have always stepped up when needed. I would like to thank our primary schools for their help."

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