A project to ensure that children from Pinner can be educated locally in the coming years has taken a step closer to being secured.
Earlier this month, Harrow Council’s cabinet approved pushing ahead with the expansion of Grimsdyke School in Sylvia Avenue, Hatch End. This would expand the number of places available to students by 210 over the next seven years.
The school’s headteacher, Gwenda Caroli, said: “Hatch End has a real village feel about it, and we see ourselves as a part of that tightly-knit community.
“We are very involved with local groups and associations, but at the centre of that we need to be a school that can offer local children a chance to be educated at their local school.
“Right now, we cannot do that, and we feel a real responsibility to correct that in the here and now.”
A consultation with parents and neighbours of the school has been carried out. The school is now looking into how to alleviate concerns over any potential increase of traffic including a possibility of introducing several drop off points.
Deputy headteacher Iain Sutherland added: “Of course this is a big project, so right from the beginning we took a position that we can confront any concerns head on by working with residents.
“It is something we are really keen to tackle, to make sure this expansion works for everyone.”
The school hopes to construct new buildings while demolishing others and refurbishing existing buildings to help it bring through an extra 30 children into a new class each year for the next seven years, resulting in Grimsdyke School becoming a three-form entry primary.
Welldon Park Infant and Nursery School, in Kingsley Road, South Harrow, and Weald Junior School, in Robin Hood Drive, Harrow Weald, were also approved to have a potential expansion investigated by council chiefs.
Cabinet member for children, schools and young people, Councillor Simon Brown (Labour), said: “We do not have the space for new schools in this borough, and of course it is not always ideal to look at expanding schools but, like with Grimsdyke School, it is exciting to build on a brand of excellent education that has been in the community for decades.
“With increasing birth rates and increased migration to our area, we need to face these challenges and we are happy to work hard to ensure that people can be educated locally and with projects like this we believe we can meet that demand.”
The council will in the future have to publish statutory notices to legally change each school’s admissions arrangements.
It is yet to secure financial backing from the government for the projects – which would mark the third stage of its borough-wide school expansion programme – although a council spokesman said that if the money is not supplied in full the council will fund the expansions.