Council could open new Potters Bar school, says town’s MP

PUBLISHED: 10:25 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 13:03 07 November 2017

Potters Bar's MP Oliver Dowden with Cllr Terry Douris. Picture credit: Mr Dowden's office.

Potters Bar's MP Oliver Dowden with Cllr Terry Douris. Picture credit: Mr Dowden's office.

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Hertsmere MP Oliver Dowden has claimed the county council could possibly open a new primary school in Potters Bar if demand continues to rise.

The MP met with county council officials and the Regional Schools Commissioner to air residents’ concerns after Potters Bar emerged as the county’s worst area for families getting a ranked primary school place.

Following the meeting, Mr Dowden said: “At our most recent meeting, they informed me that despite the increase in applications there is currently still an overall surplus of places.

“However, they are fully aware of the higher pressure for places at a number of schools and were keeping the situation under review.

“If demand in Potters Bar continues to rise they will take action to address this, including the possibility of opening a new primary school to serve the town.”

County councillor Terry Douris said the council is working with Hertsmere to ensure there is appropriate education provision as part of the area’s Local Plan consultation.

“This is expected to include provision for new primary schools, given the level of new housing proposed,” he added.

“We will continue to monitor the demand in Potters Bar and across the county, bringing forward proposals for new provision wherever needed to ensure there are sufficient school places available for all our residents.”

Of 130 areas in Hertfordshire, Potters Bar had the worst ranked allocation record in April, with only 85.77 per cent of 246 applicants getting a preferred school compared to 96 per cent county-wide.

But a county council spokesman previously attributed the figure to parental preference, claiming large numbers picked the same few schools and avoided others.

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