Headteacher: school expansion will 'take pressure off' Barnet's bulging classrooms (From Times Series)
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Headteacher: Menorah Foundation School expansion will 'take pressure off' Barnet's bulging classrooms
A headteacher is “delighted” her school has been given permission to more than double its class sizes and help provide much-needed primary school places in Barnet.
Menorah Foundation School in Abbots Road Burnt Oak will demolish an existing nursery and build a two-storey classroom after Barnet Borough Council accepted the plans last night.
The expansion will allow the school to increase its intake of pupils from 278 to 480.
Clare Neuberger, who has been headteacher at the school for 12 years, said: “I’m absolutely delighted. We hope to have almost 60 children per year group going up from 32 – so it’s almost doubling our numbers.
“Barnet definitely has a shortage of school places. By becoming a two form entry school we can help take the pressure off.
“It’s very exciting because there are a lot more opportunities for a two form entry school for both the teachers and the children. We’ll be able to build new features like a new music room, a design and technology and cookery department which we’ve never been able to do before."
As the plans were discussed by Barnet Council's west area planning sub-committee last night, some councillors shared concerns the school’s expansion would result in traffic congestion in the area.
Addressing the issue, Mrs Neuberger told the Times Series: “We have spent a lot of time looking how to alleviate parking problems. It’s a problem for a lot of schools but I feel that we have got a good travel plan that will address this – for example we’ll encourage parents to park on site instead of near the main roads."
A rise in birth rates, immigration and more families moving to the borough is mounting pressure on Barnet Borough Council to provide more school spaces.
It is hoped Menorah’s expansion will help the council in its attempt to find an extra 660 primary school places by 2018.