AN “OVERCROWDED” school will have to continue taking more pupils, despite an outcry from teachers and parents.

Southend Council is expected to rubber-stamp plans to make Porters Grange Primary School, in Lancaster Gardens, Southend, accept 90 pupils in September this year and next. Until last year, the school took just 60 per intake.

This is despite headteacher Ros Ferdinand and chair of governors Samantha Richardson claiming this continued raised level of intake would put pupils’ education “in jeopardy”.

Ms Ferdinand said: “The capacity survey of the school showed it should have no more than 64 pupils per year group.

“The school site is already very overcrowded, with access to all areas being difficult.

“We feel any increase could put the pupils at risk of health and safety issues, put their learning in jeopardy and hinder their chances.”

The school has 417 pupils on its roll, but Ms Ferdinand believes the extra capacity would mean more children coming and going from the school, harming other youngsters’ education.

Parent Clare Humphreys, of Cheltenham Road, Southend, who has a daughter at the school, added: “The school has objected in the past and still objects for valid reasons, but the local authority doesn’t seem to listen.

“Surely the opinions of the people who really matter – the pupils, their parents and the dedicated school staff – should be heard and seriously considered?”

Southend Council bosses say they are having to increase numbers because they are struggling to find enough new primary school places for children in the town following a baby boom over the past decade.

They first clashed with teachers and parents at Porters Grange in November 2010, when they approved plans to increase its annual intake of new pupils from 60 to 90 in September 2011. The same number would be taken on in September this year. They now want to repeat that move in September 2013.

The council says the school can use a spare classroom and two teachers’ rooms.

Alastair Robertson, group manager for school access, said: “Porters Grange has admitted higher numbers in the past.

“Officers remain of the view the school has sufficient accommodation and the admission of additional numbers would be manageable.”