AN OVERSUBSCRIBED primary school in Rayleigh is set to expand to increase its intake of pupils.

St Nicholas C of E Primary School, in Priory Chase, Rayleigh, held a meeting with Mark Francois, MP for Rayleigh and Wickford, to discuss its plans.

The school is looking to extend by two classrooms, meaning they will be able to provide one extra class per year group.

This comes after plans progressed for a new Special Educational Needs school at the 500-home Wolsey Park development, off Rawreth Lane.

Samantha Willis, headteacher at St Nicholas C of E Primary School, said: “It has long been the plan to extend St Nicholas and we are thrilled to share that it now looks like the plans are to become a reality.

“We have had very positive meetings with Mark Francois MP and the local authority who have confirmed we can now go ahead and announce the news.

“Mr Francois has long been a supporter of our school and has helped this process along over many years.

“The original plan of our current building already included scope to extend, should the need of the local area require it. Therefore, we are well placed to expand, especially following the large nearby housing developments, and this will have little effect on the footprint of our grounds. For example, we do not expect our school playing field to be affected.

“In general, the plan is to extend the school by two classrooms, to the west of the main building. This will enable us to have seven classes; meaning we will be able to provide one class per year group. The aim is to be in a position to roll this out as soon as possible.”

The expanded mainstream provision at St Nicholas, will help address capacity pressures at the popular local primary, which is already regularly oversubscribed.

It is hope they will be ready for us during the 2025/26 academic year – a parallel timeline to the opening of the new SEN school itself.

Mr Francois added: “I want to thank Essex County Council for their strong support, both for creating the new SEN School at Rawreth and for also backing the expansion of mainstream capacity at St Nicholas, which is located nearby.

“I will do all I can, as the MP, to help bring both important projects successfully to fruition.”