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Temporary expansion of Orchard School approved
The temporary expansion of a Watford school was approved by county councillors today.
The Orchard School will take on a class of 30 children during the September 2013 intake, as part of a raft of measures undertaken by the county's education department to counter an increase in population.
Conservative councillor Frances Button said: "We have seen an increase in population, particularly in primary school children.
"This increase has been unpredictable in some cases. Orchard Primary has agreed to take on an extra 30 pupils and we are very grateful to them."
It is hoped that a planned expansion of the school, in Gammons Lane, will allow it to take on the the extra class permanently in 2014.
The new class will occupy one of two "portacabin" classrooms while plans are drawn up for a permanent expansion.
In a letter to parents, headteacher Paul Sutton and chairman of governors Alec Thomas, said that the school would need to use "derelict allotment land that borders the school."
They argued that the land has be unused for at least 25 years, and could be used for new buildings or a replacement school playing field.
Shepherd Primary in Rickmansworth will permanently expand to take on an extra class of 30 children from September next year.
Councillor Button said the recently completed census showed how there had been a year on year increase in Watford's population.
She also suggested that residents in one and two bedroom flats, who 20 years ago would have moved on to bigger homes, were staying put due to a lack of money.
This is reflected in temporary and permanent expansions in Watford schools since 2009, culminating in the need for two entirely new, two forms of entry primary schools, which are planned for 2014.