Old toilet block at oversubscribed Lavenham school could become classroom to boost pupil capacity

Mark Westley Photography'Lavenham community primary school ANL-150906-221714009
Mark Westley Photography'Lavenham community primary school ANL-150906-221714009
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An old toilet block could be converted into a classroom building to boost pupil provision at a severely oversubscribed village school.

Suffolk County Council is to undertake a feasability study to assess the potential of using the outbuilding at Lavenham Primary School.

The Ofsted ‘outstanding’-rated school, which can take on 212 pupils, currently receives twice the number of applicants compared to spaces.

To compound the issue, significant expansion of the site is constrained by surrounding buildings.

The authority has agreed to look at the idea to develop the toilet block following a meeting between South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge, county councillor Jenny Antill, headteacher Jan Foster and Cllr Lisa Chambers, the council’s cabinet member for education and skills.

Mr Cartlidge said: “I’m pleased Suffolk County Council is taking this forward. Lavenham Primary School is very tight for space and this inevitably impacts on the number of pupils who can attend.

“However, I felt when I first visited that the old toilet block offered an option for space to at least consider an additional classroom.

“On my visits to other primary schools in the constituency I have seen good examples of well-designed modular classrooms occupying a similar space.

“I hope that we can make progress because a new classroom would make a big difference.”

Cllr Antill said: “It remains to be seen how easy it will be to clear the bottleneck that is restraining capacity at Lavenham School, but it is good to see our MP, James Cartlidge, working alongside local members and the community to try to resolve this issue.”

Mrs Foster added: “We feel that it is important to be able to offer local children places at our school and welcome any actions taken by the local authority that would enable us to do this.”

The council says Section 106 money from development locally could be used to fund the project.