ONE of the most in-demand primary schools in Essex is set to significantly increase in size.

Tendring Primary School is set to expand from its current size of 140 places to provide 210 places.

It means each year group will grow from 20 to 30 children.

The school is one of the most oversubscribed in the county and received a total of 48 first place preferences from parents wanting their children to start at the school in September 2020 when it could only hold 20 children.

In addition, figures from Essex County Council show within a group of schools involving Tendring Primary School, Engaines Primary School and Nursery in Clacton, Rolph C of E Primary School in Thorpe and St Andrew’s C of E Primary School in Weeley there is a forecasted shortfall of 24 places by 2030 due to population growth.

The council has said increasing the school’s intake each year from 20 to 30 will allow the management team to organise all classes with single age groups, eliminating the need to mix across ages and enabling teaching to be focused on the needs of a narrower age group.

The school already has 181 pupils on roll so the proposed expansion to a total capacity of 210 is only a relatively small increase over existing levels.

A statement as part of a decision to be signed off by the cabinet member for education at Essex County Council Tony Ball, said: “Essex County Council’s proposal to increase the size of the Tendring Primary School will ensure children will be able to access a school place within the planning group.

“It will provide more places to meet the growing demand in the area and will enable parents to gain a place for their child at a school rated good by Ofsted.

“The school is the only primary provision in the planning group over the last five years that has been consistently oversubscribed with first preference applications.

“It is highly likely this level of demand will continue in the future so increasing the size of the school will allow more parents to be offered their first preference school place.

“It is strongly supported by the school’s senior leadership, who recognise the organisational advantages that moving to one form of entry (30 pupils in each year group, rather than the current 20 pupils per year group) would deliver for future pupils.”

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