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Government minister praises Council’s schools expansion programme

Published: Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Lord Agnew praises Havering's plans for schools improvement

Havering Council’s drive to provide more school places has been recognised by a Government minister.  

Its efforts are now set to be used as an example to other local authorities on how to deliver new school places efficiently.

In a letter to Havering Council, Lord Agnew, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the School System, said:

“I would like to congratulate you on the work that the London Borough of Havering is doing to deliver pupil places cost effectively.”

He said the borough had been identified as “one of the more efficient local authorities in delivering new schools or expansion developments based on recent projects.”

Lord Agnew added:

“I also want to thank you for your colleagues’ help in sharing information about the management of your schools capital programme. We are using the insights and examples gathered from this exercise to develop guidance for all local authorities on cost effective delivery of new school places.”

The Council has also agreed to take part in a new peer support initiative with the Department for Education and will be offering advice to other local authorities.

The positive feedback is the latest in a string of successes and announcements to boost education provision in the borough. 

They have included:

  • Havering’s plans to invest more than £18 million to expand its schools 
  • A new free school for children and young people with special educational needs will be built on land at St Edward’s Church of England Academy, Romford and run by the school’s trust
  • Havering taking top place in London for offering pupils their first choice of secondary school, while 90% of primary school pupils received their first choice of school
  • The Cabinet’s approval of plans to improve the Council’s Ofsted rating.

Councillor Robert Benham, Havering’s Cabinet Member for Children, Learning and Education, said:

“Havering has a rich tradition for its delivery of top class education, and looking at the bigger picture it shows just how outstanding our staff and work have been.

“Our aim is to ensure that our children have the best start in life and for parents and carers to have confidence in the Council that we are helping their children to achieve their full potential.

“This latest accolade shows the impact that the borough is having beyond the boundary in helping to lead the way in both thinking and practice.”