Education chiefs working to increase schools places

By IH 18/05 Updated: 18/05 13:07

Buy photos » Parents and children who are angry their siblings will be split up because of limits on places at St Matthews Bloxam Primary School. 18.012.025.rug.jg

EDUCATION chiefs in Warwickshire say they are working to increase the number of primary school places following criticism of school admission rules in Rugby.

It follows anger from parents after some were told they would not be able to send siblings to the same schoos, including 17 families with children at St Matthew's Bloxam Primary, who face having to send their children to different schools from September because siblings cannot get a place alongside their older brother or sister.

Coun Heather Timms, county children, young people and families spokeswoman, said Warwickshire was undertaking a primary school expansion programme in a bid to tackle the need for extra places.

She told The Observer: "Warwickshire is experiencing a significant growth in pupil numbers which is already being experienced in primary schools.

Coun Timms added the fall and rise in the birth rate in Warwickshire closely followed the national trend with births falling between 1991 and 2001, before starting to rise again since.

She continued: "The size of the pupil cohort entering reception in Warwickshire primary schools was 5,200 in 2006. The reception cohort entering Warwickshire primary schools this September will be in excess of 6,200 - over 1,000 more children than six years ago.

"Over the past 18 months extensive work has taken place to identify areas where demand for places would outweigh availability and a considerable amount of work has taken place to identify possible solutions. This has required extensive consultation on the expansion of many schools across the county.

"The local authority carefully monitors birth data and pupil forecasts and will continue to work with schools to ensure that there are sufficient places available for the children of Warwickshire."

Parents have formed a Facebook group - Siblingsatthesameschool - to highlight the issue.

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