Parents’ fury at plan for school

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FUMING parents have voiced their anger at proposals for more than more than 100 extra pupils at their school.

Herts County Council want to increase pupil numbers at Westfield First School in Durrants Lane, Berkhamsted, by 30 each year from September.

They propose the same for Greenway First and Nursery in Crossways, Berkhamsted, from September 2012.

This would continue for every reception class until every year group in the school has 30 extra pupils.

Greenway mother Kate Locke says this will mean an extra 195 children at her child’s primary school.

This would mean that each year group would have three form groups - which Kate said was one higher than government guidelines advise.

Six classes would have to be built at Greenway to take in the new capacity.

Kate said: “We would have 510 compared to their 625 by September 2016. 510 pupils when you are four can be pretty scary.”

She says the school will be larger than 97 per cent of all primary schools in the UK by that September 2016.

The school only last year finished building work aimed at increasing pupil numbers from 45 to 60 per year.

Kate fears more people driving to the school could be dangerous.

She said: “Over Christmas my car was written off by someone driving to school. It is chaos out there already - it is so dangerous.”

Becky Plenderleith, of the Westfield First Parent Teacher Association, said expansion “could easily result in loss of school community spirt.”

Greenway dad Richard Edwards said: “It is a 100 per cent done deal. This is a waste of everybody’s time, because it won’t allow parents’ views to be reflected.”

But Greenway mum Clare Burlingham backed plans for an increase in school places - but wanted them shared out more equally between schools.

Parents were also concerned about loss of playgroud space and bullying due to larger numbers.

To have your say, complete the form at www.hertsdirect.org/schoolplaces.

They are also available from libraries or by calling 01438 737350.

The consultation runs until February 21.