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23 August 2017, 06:06
Essex County Council has created more than 2,500 new school places in Essex ahead of the new academic year following a series of expansion projects.
The council has spent about £74million creating 2,535 new permanent mainstream places across the county.
300 temporary places have also been created through smaller projects to allow schools to take bulge year groups.
With pupils returning to school next month, many of the projects have already been completed while building works are continuing at some of the schools.
The secondary school expansion projects include 300 additional places at The Philip Morant School in Colchester, 270 extra places at The Stanway School and 145 new places at Joyce Frankland Academy in Newport.
At primary level, 210 new places have been created at Ghyllgrove Primary School in Basildon, Hogarth Primary School in Brentwood, Northwick Park Academy on Canvey Island, St John's Green Primary School in Colchester, St Andrew's Primary School in North Weald, White Bridge Primary School in Loughton and Kingsmoor Academy in Harlow.
Smaller projects have also taken place at Whitmore Primary School in Basildon, Cressing Primary School, De Vere Primary School in Castle Hedingham and The Flitch Green Academy near Little Dunmow.
The schemes will allow all of the schools to admit their first intake of additional pupils from the start of term in September.
Cllr Ray Gooding, Essex County Council's Cabinet Member for Education, said: "Essex is growing fast and I am delighted a number of the county's schools will be able to take extra pupils this academic year to help meet the rising demand for places.
"Our continued investment in new school places such as these meant we were able to offer a record percentage of pupils a place at their parents' preferred primary and secondary schools for this September.
"We recognise that more places are still needed over the coming years and are planning to spend about £230million on creating new mainstream school places across Essex over the next three years."