KINGSTON'S primary schools are set to expand by nearly 2,000 places, as the council tries to get to grips with the huge rise in demand for classroom places.

Education chiefs are planning to permanently expand schools across the borough by 405 places in each year group to tackle the problem, which has seen dozens of temporary classrooms built across Kingston.

A consultation has been launched in the Surbiton and Kingston Town wards, to coincide with the one currently underway in the area, where a new, two form of entry school, is proposed on the Surbiton Hospital site. Those in the Maldens and Coombe and South of the Borough areas can have their say from April 19.

Extra classes for 30 pupils will be created at 14 existing schools. A series of meetings, at each of the schools involved in the permanent expansion programme, have been organised for later this month and April.

Since 2008, Kingston Council has been forced to create more than 800 extra, temporary classrooms to house 27 more classes than had been expected.

Local authorities across London have been hit, and Kingston has blamed the recession, rising birth rates and inaccurate data from the Greater London Assembly for its shortfall in place numbers.

A council spokesman said: "This current strategy details how Kingston will permanently provide an additional 13.5 forms of entry in reception from September 2011 onwards to meet the expected future demand for places. This permanent expansion will provide a total of 1,980 places to meet expected demand with a reasonable level of extra places to provide for a degree of parental preference and places for families moving into the area."

The temporary classrooms that have cropped up in playgrounds across Kingston will remain for as long as the "bulge" continues, and will be removed when intake numbers settle down.

Planning applications for each of the schools will be submitted over the summer, with work set to start next year in time for September 2011.

Full details of the plans for each of the schools, along with meeting dates, are available online at
All consultation responses in Surbiton and Kingston Town must be received by May 10. The Maldens and Coombe and South of the Borough consultations will close on June 1.

Proposed extra places - see page 2

Kingston Town
Latchmere Primary
Fern Hill Primary
King Athelstan Primary
Alexandra Infants
St Pauls Junior

St Matthew's Primary
Grand Avenue Primary

Maldens and Coombe
Burlington Infants
Burling Junior
Christ Church Primary
Corpus Christi Primary
Malden Manor Primary

South of the Borough
Ellingham Primary
Lovelace Primary