Barry Gardiner

Working Hard for Brent North


Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North, visited the Department for Education on Thursday 11 February to raise concerns with Brent council about the proposed expansion to Byron Court primary school from 630 to 1050 pupils.  

Mr Gardiner MP was accompanied by his constituents Martin Dickens and Suzanne D'Souza to set out objections on educational grounds to the proposed expansion of Byron Court. 

Following the meeting, Barry Gardiner MP for Brent North said:

"I understand the constraints Brent council are operating under, but the officers from Brent Local Authority appeared more concerned with their statutory obligation to provide new school places than with the negative educational impact the proposed expansion to Byron Court would have on pupils. 

I will be writing a further letter to the Department for Education to formally set out the questions myself and my constituents will need answered by Brent council and Byron Court." 


Notes to Editors

1. Barry Gardiner MP was accompanied to the Department for Education by Martin Dickens, chair of Parents Against Byron School Expansion, and Suzanne D’Souza, chair of the Sudbury Court Residents Association.


2. On 16 March 2015 the Cabinet voted to approve the expansion of the Byron Court Primary School from three form entry to five, with an additional nursery. The number of pupils will increase from 630 to 1050.


3. An informal consultation carried out by the governing body of Byron Court Primary School received 334 responses, nearly 90% of which were against the expansion.  Nearly 40% of the responses raised concern about the impact of the expansion on students’ education, citing issues related to increased class sizes, rotas for lunchtime and play, high pupil mobility, and emphasis on crowd control. Brent council has received petitions against the expansion from both residents and parents, containing almost 1,000 signatures.


3. Barry Gardiner MP has raised the issue with Secretary of State Nicky Morgan twice, requesting a meeting in October 2015 and issuing a detailed letter shortly after. On 8 February 2016, Barry wrote to Councillor Butt asking that the Cabinet reject the officers’ recommendation to expand Byron Court Primary School at its next meeting.


Media contact:

Louisa Casson, Communications Director

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