Millions of pounds will be spent rebuilding the fire gutted John Ray Infants site and expanding its junior school to try and cope with a shortage of pupil places.

Essex County Council is planning to set aside more than £5million for the rebuilding of the infants school, which was destroyed in a blaze on August 31.

It is also currently consulting with parents on plans to increase the number of pupils that both the infants school and the neighbouring junior school, which are in Notley Road, can take.

As part of the consultation it is proposed to increase the intake at the infants school from three to four classes per year, meaning an extra 30 pupils each time taking the school total to 360.

The junior school would also increase to a four class intake, meaning an extra 96 pupils at school taking the whole total to 480.

The county council’s report said: “The schools are popular, oversubscribed and rated Good by Ofsted.    “Expansion of the schools will provide more places to meet the growing demand in Braintree which is very pronounced in the priority admission area of the John Ray schools.   “Expansion of the schools will enable more parents to gain a place for their child at a popular, high performing school.”

Forecasts show that the council could face a shortage of 60 places in the Braintree area in 2014/15 and will face a further shortage of 14 of 2016/17 and 23 in 2017/18.

To take part in the consultation click here