1. ITV Report

Essex short of 13,000 primary school places

More than 13,000 primary school spaces are needed in Essex in the next two years.

The county council has set aside around £300 million to try and meet the demand.

More than 13,000 primary school places are needed in Essex. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Three years ago at Ravens Academy in Clacton there were 158 children - this September there will be 420.

Karen Hammond, Principal, said: "We have an extra Year 3 class and are being asked to take another Year 2 class.

"That's not just us - that's across Clacton, because otherwise these children won't be schooled.

"Sometimes we have children that haven't been in school for months."

Essex County Council has earmarked £315 million to create 13,000 school places over the next three years.

Cllr John Spence from Essex County Council, said: "It's a big ask and we do need to consider how we keep funding all that investment.

"We are making representations to Government because we should not be left with a huge borrowing burden on the back of this, but yes we can afford to do it."

More than 2,000 places will be available from September thanks to a series of school expansions.