Immigration behind rise of Northamptonshire school admissions

The growing number of immigrants to Northamptonshire has resulted in a surge in late admissions to the county's schools, the council has said.

Five primary schools in the county have between them had to make spaces for 150 additional pupils before September.

Conservative councillor Andrew Grant, in charge of the council's schools, said 90% of the late admissions were from Eastern Europe.

He said the council was now considering building a new school.

'Unbelievable demand'

Opposition leaders have criticised the council for failing to prepare for the surge before the summer.

Liberal Democrat opposition leader, Jenny Conroy, said the council should have pre-empted the rise in late admissions.

"For a number of years the county council has been aware that migration to the town is increasing," she said.

"It seems incredible that this year there's a knee-jerk reaction and that the council has had to put these places on offer.

"It should have been looked at a lot earlier."

But Mr Grant who holds the portfolio holder for Learning, Skills and Education, said it was impossible for the authority to plan for the late surge.

He said: "Our school admission teams and the planning we do for places has been spot on - there is no way we could have planned the volume of late applications, in particular the volume that has come from outside the county."

He said the council was now looking at building a new school to open in time for September 2013 to meet the "unbelievable demand on places".

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