Six new classrooms could be built at a primary school in Thurrock as part of the council’s push for more school places across the borough.

The planning application submitted to the council would allow Benyon Primary School in South Ockendon to double in size with two classes per year group as opposed to the current position of just one.

The extension would see six new classrooms built to the rear of the school, along with extra car parking spaces, a new staff area, and an extension to the main hall and playground.

This will result in the school’s capacity increasing from 240 pupils to 420 and the number of staff increasing from 33 to 60.

Planning documents state: “The proposed extensions and alterations are required to expand Benyon Primary School to a ‘two-form entry school’ by constructing a six-classroom extension to service the need for additional school places in the Thurrock area.

“The proposed extensions have been carefully designed to complement the existing school buildings and minimise the effect on the adjoining dwellings.”

It is the latest of several school expansions to be brought to be proposed in recent months as the council rapidly attempts to address a borough-wide shortage of school places.

A report published ahead of a meeting next week details numerous other schools that are undergoing expansions, including East Tilbury Primary School, Corringham Primary School and St Clere's School.

Councillor James Halden, Cabinet Member for Education and Health, notes in the report that expansion in all year groups are needed due to challenges in predicting school admissions.

“The difficulty with forecasting is that, although forecasts are accurate, we are not able to identify how old the children will be that move into Thurrock and to what year group they will move into," he states.

“This takes close monitoring and we ensure we are in a position, when necessary, to take swift action in opening up classes within certain year groups.”

The council hopes to add 3,500 new school places to the borough in the coming years with the construction of three new schools. Work on one of these, Harris Riverside Secondary School is said to be nearly complete, while work is yet to begin on Orsett Heath Academy and Thames Park Academy.

Due to the urgent demand for extra places, the council plans to open temporary buildings for Orsett and Thames while they are under construction.