Barking and Dagenham secondary schools to expand by 2020

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 September 2015

Robert Clack could expand to become the largest secondary school in the country

Robert Clack could expand to become the largest secondary school in the country


Secondary schools in the borough have been asked to consider expansion – with some potentially increasing to 2,500 students.

The headteachers from each school have met with the council’s director of children services to discuss how to meet a rising demand for places.

If they accept, Robert Clack could become the largest secondary school in the country by expanding to a 16-form entry system.

The Green Lane school in Dagenham currently has 1,900 students but could grow to allow for the large numbers expected by 2020.

Helen Jenner, director of children services, said: “Robert Clack is an outstanding school and we are working with the school’s governing body to consider a range of options to decide what would best meet local need.”

She added that the options include the possibility of significantly increasing the size of the school but no decisions have been taken yet.

Barking and Dagenham is already home to the biggest primary school in the country, with Gascoigne Primary in Gascoigne Road educating 1,200 pupils.

The borough is one of 11 London councils that faces big increases in demand for secondary school places and it has experienced the biggest growth in London in the number of children aged up to four.

The council said a range of possibilities are being explored, including primary, secondary or sixth form expansions.

A council spokeswoman added: “As part of this planning, a six monthly review report is discussed with the council’s cabinet as plans are agreed with school governing bodies.”

She said individual discussions and meetings are held with schools and the process enables the borough to prepare to meet the expected increase in demand.

In order to address this the council will continue to explore a number of options, including those interested in making applications from the voluntary sector for free schools.

“The council has been planning expansions of its secondary schools for several years because we were aware that the number of primary school children was projected to increase,” she added.

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