WALTHAMSTOW: School "on waiting list" for new hall

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: The dining hall at Thorpe Hall Primary is too small to accomodate more than half of pupils The dining hall at Thorpe Hall Primary is too small to accomodate more than half of pupils

A SCHOOL where most pupils eat lunch in their classrooms because the dining hall is too small has been told it will have to wait for funding to expand facilities.

A petition signed by 4,000 people prompted a council debate on the problem at Thorpe Hall Primary School in Hale End Road, Walthamstow, last Thursday.

The school says it urgently needs £325,000 to build a new hall and kitchen facilities to cope with an extra form of entry last year and a further 60 pupils in the next two years.

Currently more than half of pupils eat lunch in their classrooms.

However, Cllr Marie Pye, the cabinet member for children, while admitting a number of primary schools are facing similar problems following a rapid expansion in school places, said Thorpe Hall does not qualify for a slice of a recent £30m cash injection.

The government funding has been earmarked for secondary schools which missed out on improved facilities when the Building Schools for the Future programme was scrapped.

Cllr Pye said Thorpe Hall will be placed on a waiting list for a portion of £3m set aside for school repairs.

She added: “There’s a long list, unfortunately. Five schools have no kitchen, and numerous schools with one hall or a hall miles away from the toilets. It also includes schools with cracked buildings and leaky roofs.”

But opposition councillors called on the council to act quickly to solve the problem.

Cllr Darshan Sunger, Conservative member for Hale End and Highams Park, said: “The children have to squeeze together like sardines in a tin. It’s not a pleasant experience.

“Garfield Road car park (in Chingford) was recently sold for £860,000, so we have money in the pot.” Others questioned why the money could not be secured from financial agreements with housing developers to improve infrastructure.

Pupils, Thorpe Hall headteacher Paulette Houghton, and Friends of Thorpe Hall chairman David Hoskins, presented the petition.

Mr Hoskins said: “We do find it quite shocking that in this day and age, with housing developments going up everywhere, we have schools like ours in buildings not fit for purpose.

“We look forward to summer and will hold the council to account.”

Comments (8)

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1:08am Fri 20 Apr 12

sensibility says...

If there is a vermin problem Environmental Health should be called in.

All schools in the borough require expansion and the 30 million just isnt going to cover it.

LBWF sold schools off when they shouldnt have. Quality of life and every pupil/resident matters ?????

Isnt there any spare community ward money that can contribute towards this with LBWF paying the rest?

Find the money for this please Waltham Forest. What message are we saying to these children who are our future taxpayers?
If there is a vermin problem Environmental Health should be called in. All schools in the borough require expansion and the 30 million just isnt going to cover it. LBWF sold schools off when they shouldnt have. Quality of life and every pupil/resident matters ????? Isnt there any spare community ward money that can contribute towards this with LBWF paying the rest? Find the money for this please Waltham Forest. What message are we saying to these children who are our future taxpayers? sensibility

10:15pm Fri 20 Apr 12

sunn says...

Thankfully there was money available when the Council wanted to make some internal changes to the town hall.

I say, that retroactive planning permission was handy too, sod English Heritage eh?!
Thankfully there was money available when the Council wanted to make some internal changes to the town hall. I say, that retroactive planning permission was handy too, sod English Heritage eh?! sunn

10:38pm Fri 20 Apr 12

Sam Hain says...

Free condoms would be a cheaper option.
Free condoms would be a cheaper option. Sam Hain

10:41pm Fri 20 Apr 12

mad-dog says...

Council - do something worthwhile for once and pay for the hall and kitchen and let children eat decent food in a decent place
Council - do something worthwhile for once and pay for the hall and kitchen and let children eat decent food in a decent place mad-dog

6:44am Sat 21 Apr 12

Typo gal says...

How can the school grow by two classes over the next few years if they don't have the space for those already there?
How can the school grow by two classes over the next few years if they don't have the space for those already there? Typo gal

9:38am Sat 21 Apr 12

myopinioncounts says...

Years ago we were told by the experts that school numbers were dropping and therefore schools would be closed. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that the trend in immigration, larger families etc., would soon result in a shortage of places. But even those in education probably didn't foresee the arrival of huge numbers from the EU.
Years ago we were told by the experts that school numbers were dropping and therefore schools would be closed. It was obvious to anyone with eyes that the trend in immigration, larger families etc., would soon result in a shortage of places. But even those in education probably didn't foresee the arrival of huge numbers from the EU. myopinioncounts

6:32pm Sat 21 Apr 12

mad-dog says...

The council don't care about the children's education or health or safe places for them to be in - if they did they'd build the dining hall and kitchen - surely just a basic right! or are we living in Victorian times again
The council don't care about the children's education or health or safe places for them to be in - if they did they'd build the dining hall and kitchen - surely just a basic right! or are we living in Victorian times again mad-dog

11:18pm Sun 22 Apr 12

Sam Hain says...

"or are we living in Victorian times again?" Certainly,mad-dog, the birth rate locally would seem to suggest we are, and, apparently, with many of the long-erradicated diseases of that era such as tuberculosis and even, I gather, rickets making a comeback. Where are you, Marie Stopes, when your country needs you?!
"or are we living in Victorian times again?" Certainly,mad-dog, the birth rate locally would seem to suggest we are, and, apparently, with many of the long-erradicated diseases of that era such as tuberculosis and even, I gather, rickets making a comeback. Where are you, Marie Stopes, when your country needs you?! Sam Hain

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