More than 3,500 extra school places have been created in Surrey this year to meet a growth in demand from rising birth rates.
Schools will have space for 3,549 extra pupils when they open this week after the summer break – the equivalent of eight brand new two-form entry primaries.
It brings the total number of places created over the past five years to 13,014 – with a further 13,000 needed over the next five years.
The new places are part of the biggest school expansion in Surrey’s history and their locations are shown in the map below.
But Surrey County Council is warning that it faces a funding shortfall of £30million in the next two years alone to provide the places the county needs in future.
Linda Kemeny, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Skills and Educational Achievement, said: ‘We’ve pulled out all the stops to ensure an additional 3,500 children can go to Surrey schools but it is getting harder and harder to find the funds we need to meet the growth in demand.
‘At a time when the council’s finances are also under huge strain from spiralling demand for elderly care, we are pressing the Government for a fairer deal on funding for school places.’
The 3,549 places have been created at 45 different schools – 43 primary and two secondary.
One primary, Hurst Park in West Molesey, has been completely rebuilt as a bigger school at a new site.
Mrs Kemeny added: “We have worked very hard to ensure every child who needs a school place gets one and we will continue to do this.
“By 2020 we need to create another 13,000 places but face a funding shortfall of £30million in each of the next two years alone and we are urging the Government to recognise this.”
Surrey school places by numbers
- 3,549 extra places created in schools this year
- 3,369 extra places in primary schools this year
- 180 extra places in secondary schools this year
- 13,014 extra places created in Surrey schools between 2011 and 2015
- 13,000 extra places needed over the next five years
- 43 primary schools expanded
- 2 secondary schools expanded