Wednesday, 5 May 2010

When will they learn?

Another year, another round of school admissions, another group of angry parents whose children didn't get a place at their lower school of choice.

In Stotfold we are spoilt for choice, with three outstanding lower schools on our doorstep. For various reasons, the CofE school seems to be most popular among parents, at least those I know.

Last year, it was our turn to apply for a lower school place for our son. Although my family are new to Stotfold, we had already decided we wanted our son to go to the CofE school because we are churchgoers. The decision was easy to make and I thought getting the place would be too.

We were VERY lucky, we did get a place. About 20 families were not. Several were offered places at another lower school in the town, nine were offered a school in Biggleswade, almost 10 miles away! After a lot of effort by the Town Council and headteachers, nine extra places were found and the problem was resolved.

But the district council (Mid Beds) did not help.

We now have a new district council (Central Beds) and a new admissions procedure, but the problems are the same. Nine children currently in the nursery at the CofE school are now faced with a move to a different school in September. One child has a place at a school in a different town. Parents are angry, because new places were created last year but there is seemingly no chance of that happening this time.

When will our district councillors take our children's education seriously? When will they begin to realise that additional school places will be needed if new homes are being built? Places that should be at a school near the child's home.

Next year, one of the lower schools is being rebuilt and extended in a different part of town. Hopefully the additional school places will be enough to cater for all the young children moving into the new homes being built in our town. Hopefully.


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