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Extension plan for infants' school

PUBLISHED: 17:50 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 10:14 11 August 2010

RIPPLE INFANTS is the latest school in the area where extensions are planned to help accommodate more pupils. It is hoped that temporary buildings will be in place at the site in Suffolk Road, Barking, by the beginning of September. The current capacity

RIPPLE INFANTS is the latest school in the area where extensions are planned to help accommodate more pupils.

It is hoped that temporary buildings will be in place at the site in Suffolk Road, Barking, by the beginning of September.

The current capacity of the school is 240 - additional classrooms will increase this to 270.

Each year Ripple Infants can only take 60 new children, but extensions to the school buildings will mean that 90 are admitted this autumn.

As Ripple was one of the first single-storey schools to be built in England, there are no plans to build on top of the original structure.

Due to the amount of new families moving to the borough there have been record numbers of applications to certain schools.

In the last two years several have announced expansion plans to deal with the increase in applications.

Northbury School in North Street, Barking Abbey in Sandringham Road have major extensions planned.

Executive member for Children's Services, Councillor Jeanne Alexander, said: "There are lots of families moving to the borough as it is one of the few places in London where first-time buyers can get a foot on the ladder.

"As a result many schools are oversubscribed, this year Robert Clack received 1,400 admission requests for only 300 places.

"These planned extensions are always more complicated than people might think, if we admit more pupils to Ripple Infants then we have to expand their Junior school too.

"Then there is extra equipment and books, extra staff and extensions to cafeterias and gym halls.

"We want to make sure every child in the borough gets the best education possible, and the level of schooling here has really improved in recent years."

In March this year plans to erect a new building at Eastbury Primary were shelved due to a lack of funds.

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