Home Farm Official Opening

TEACHERS and pupils celebrated the completion a £2.3 million project to create eight new classrooms at their primary school.

Home Farm Primary School in Shelley Road, Lexden, will have space for an extra 210 places following the completion of the seven-month project just in time for the start of the school’s autumn term.

These classrooms are in one block and the first pupils are already benefiting from them.

Headteacher Richard Potter said: “Pupils are loving the classrooms.

“It is always nice to go from a building built in the late Sixties to one built in the modern day, so they are loving it.”

The expansion has also taken place to meet the demands of Colchester’s growing population.

Mr Potter added: “We are an expanding school so the new facilities that Essex County Council has given us will allow us to expand to provide up to date and luxurious accommodation for our expanding role.

“All the teachers are looking forward to using the new facilities.”

Mr Potter said there will be an extra reception class for the next seven years

The school had 218 pupils before the expansion but was oversubscribed.

In addition to projects at five primary schools in Colchester this summer, Essex County Council is planning for the creation of more than 1,000 other school places in the area in the coming years.

The council hopes to build a new primary school at Lakelands in Stanway, while the Education and Skills Funding Agency has approved proposals for an all-through free school on the Chesterwell site in Mile End and a primary free school elsewhere in Colchester. Its location is still to be confirmed.

The council has already spent £30 million on primary school projects in Colchester since September 2014, including two new schools – Braiswick Primary School and Camulos Academy – as well as several school expansion projects.

Ray Gooding, Essex County Council’s councillor responsible for education, said: “Colchester is one of the fastest growing towns in Essex and the demand for primary school places is expected to continue to rise in the coming years.

“We have already invested significantly in creating more than 2,300 new school places in Colchester over the past few years and are committed to ensuring that investment continues in the years to come.

“The new places these latest projects have created have been crucial in enabling us continue to offer as many pupils as possible a place at one of their parents’ preferred schools for the 2018/19 school year.

“I am extremely pleased work has been completed in time to welcome pupils to their new schools and would like to thank everyone involved for their hard work to make this happen.”