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School funding cuts shouldn't deny children a full and varied education

School funding is being cut - there's little doubt about that.  Funding changes and increased costs mean schools in Reading have less mo...

26 Apr 2012

UPDATED: Schools admissions - we're here to help

UPDATED: it has been confirmed by Leader of the Council Jo Lovelock that she has asked for ways to ensure transport is available to families. It has also been asked that a special arrangement, outside the usual policy of two miles, be discussed to recognise the problem for families who have been affected by the bulge.  Councillors are also asking if different methods of assessing numbers can be looked at for the future taking location into account.  A further letter is also going out to families currently without a school place.

Just a short post to let residents know that Battle councillors Gul Khan, Chris Maskell and I are taking concerns about school places in the Battle area very seriously.  As soon as it became clear there was a shortage of spaces we asked for an update from officers and we have also asked the plans for next years intake are discussed as soon as this round has finished.  We are also being kept up to date by the Lead Councillor for Education and Children's Service, John Ennis.

Parents are clearly upset that places in the area are short and have not got their first choice school.  We know the council are doing their best and will find places for all children but questions need to be asked to prevent this happening again.

I must admit I was surprised to see the following from Green cllr Melanie Eastwood 'sometimes protecting green space should outweigh other priorities including extending schools.' when talking about the Wilson Primary school application to build school facilities on their own playing field.  I am sure the parents in the area would not agree given the shortages already experienced.

I have also been reminded by Cllr Maskell (my dad) that Battle was due approximately £300,000 from Labour's Building Schools for the Future fund which was scrapped when the Tory/Lib Dem coalition came into power. 

I have offered my help to the parents I see at the school gates but I don't see everyone.  Please contact us if you would like questions answered or if you require representation.

sarah.hacker@reading.gov.uk
chris.maskell@reading.gov.uk
gul.khan@reading.gov.uk

From Cllr John Ennis' blog: This year Reading has received applications for 2,144 children seeking a place at school for September 2012. This is an increase of 197 (10%) from last year, which follows the national trend. However in Reading only 6% fewer families have been offered their first preference at this stage.

“A £20m investment has been made by the Council, over a five year period, to increase capacity in three schools with a further £1.8 million invested this year on temporary measures to cope with high demand in part caused by the economic pressures which are restricting the social mobility that has always been common in the borough. This means as families grow they are having to remain living in the same houses, which in turn puts additional pressure on school places in those areas.

 “The Council is working closely with schools across the Borough and we are confident we will at the end of the process accommodate all of the children who applied for a place. “As always, we have done everything possible to try to meet parents’ aspirations for where their children go to school and we fully understand that some parents will be disappointed. However, in the circumstances, we have done everything we can to distribute places as fairly as possible by following the published admission policies and processes.

Details are as follows:         2012    2011
                   1st Preference   76.2% 82.3%                     
                    2nd Preference 10.7% 8.8%
                    3rd Preference 3.9%    3.9%
                    4th Preference 1.60%  0.92%

1 comment:

  1. When I went to boarding school applications were on paper and most people used each individual school application

    School Admission

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