Ipswich: St Margaret’s Primary School set to double in size

St Margaret's governor Inga Lockington backed the expansion.

St Margaret's governor Inga Lockington backed the expansion. - Credit: Archant

One of the most popular primary schools in Ipswich is set to double in size over the next six years.

And another two are set to increase their numbers by 50% as the population of the town continues to increase.

The county council’s cabinet approved the expansion of St Margaret’s, Hillside, and Rushmere Hall schools as the town prepares for a population explosion.

Other schools are also set to grow.

St Margaret’s will increase from one 30-pupil class per year to two, starting in September with the addition of a second reception class.

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The cabinet heard there had been concern that the site was not large enough for the school to double in size by 2019, but the governors were confident they would be able to carry out the work.

There were also concerns that the expansion of the school would increase traffic.

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County councillor Inga Lockington is a governor at St Margaret’s and told the meeting that the governors were aware of the concerns, but felt problems could be minimised.

She said: “The school will increase from 210 to 420 pupils – but it will be over six years as the classes work their way through. It will not be a sudden massive increase.”

At Hillside and Rushmere Hall the schools will increase from two 30-pupil classes a year to three – meaning that over six years they will increase from 420 to 630 pupils each.

Labour councillor Sandra Gage, who represents Rushmere, was disappointed there was not a green travel plan to encourage more children to walk or cycle to school.

She said: “We have done a great deal of work on green travel plans, and I am disappointed there is not more attention being given to them in these cases.”

Cabinet member with responsibility for schools Lisa Chambers accepted that any proposals to expand schools raised problems with traffic.

She said: “These issues arise all over the county, in rural areas and in the towns. There is no way to completely avoid the problem.”

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