Overcrowded primary school classes in Chorley 'comes as no surprise', says Leader of Chorley Council
The leader of Chorley Council has said that "it comes as no surprise" after primary school classes across Chorley and Leyland were found to be breaching government capping rules.
Class sizes for key stage one pupils, aged between five and seven, is legally set at 30 but figures collated by the Department for Education reveal that the number of infant pupils in classes over 30 increased across the North West by 160 per cent since 2011. Nationally it has risen by 91 per cent.
In Central Lancashire, of the schools who provided the data, less than 20 schools recorded classes of 31 key stage one pupils taught by one teacher.
But the bulk of them are in the fast growing residential areas of Euxton, Clayton-le-Woods and Leyland.
Hawkshead Avenue and Highways Avenue and Euxton Station Euxton Primary, Euxton CE, Euxton St Mary’s RC and Balshaw Lane all had classes of 31, as did Westwood at Clayton-le-Woods.
Coun Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council, said: “It comes as no surprise that class sizes both nationally and locally have increased significantly over the past few years.
“Our house building targets have been increasing year on year but we need the infrastructure first.
“One of the biggest concerns of residents in Chorley is the number of new homes being built and the pressure it is putting on things such as schools, doctors’ surgeries and the roads.
“We do listen to our residents’ concerns and will look to take any steps we can.”
Coun Bradley (pictured) added: “We know it’s a problem but this is something we can’t address on our own and we need the support of the government in allowing us to demand that school places are provided before houses are built.”
Chorley-based nursery company Nature Trail Nursery is currently looking to turn the former Railway pub in Euxton into childcare services.
In documents provided to the council, the company hopes it will help the situation in Chorley, stating that only 92 per cent of the 140 children in reception classes in the catchment area received childcare prior to starting school.