Petition for new free school in North Swindon

Petition for new free school in North Swindon

Petition for new free school in North Swindon

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @Michael_Benke

PARENTS in North Swindon are being urged to face up to the reality of a lack of secondary school places in the coming years.

It is expected that by 2016 more than 200 families will have to send their children to a school outside of the area due to the increasing population. By 2018 this could have risen to as much 900.

Kevin Gray, 47, the Chair of Governors at Isambard School, is asking parents to look at whether they want their children to go to school close to home and if so help him take action.

He is looking to set up another free school in the area, entirely separate from Isambard, ready to open for 2016 but will not be able to do so without support from locals.

He said: “If this is to get off the ground then we need 300 signatures from parents saying they will send their children to a free school if it is opened.

“The signature would not be a legal obligation to then send their child to that school but it is something we can take to the government.

“You can have the perfect site and a great curriculum with teaching staff but if you don’t have the 300 signatures then the government will not even look at the bid.”

If the school is to open in time for September 2016 then the signatures need to be collected by May.

One of the fundamental motivations for Kevin looking to form a new school is the affect the shortage of places will have on his family.
“I have an eight-year-old child and we currently live one mile from Isambard but as it stands he will probably not be able to go there,” said Kevin.

“Hundreds of families are facing the prospect of having to send their child to a school much further away.

“Obviously, there will be a portion for whom it is easier to go elsewhere or have siblings there but this will still leave a large number disappointed.”

Kevin has been speaking at public meetings and even organised his own meetings but so far, he has not received a huge amount of support.

Another meeting is being held on Tuesday night in which Kevin is hoping to put together a team who can help collect the signatures.

“So far there has been a degree of apathy but when I have spoken with people directly then they understand there is a big problem,” he said.

“It is important that we turn that support into signatures. It is a public meeting but I am hoping to be able to coordinate those who have previously said they want to help gather support for the school.”

The meeting will take place at 7pm at the Haydon Wick Parish Council Offices. For more information on the free school bid visit www.northswindon11to19.org.



 

Comments (5)

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4:21pm Sun 12 Jan 14

Robh says...

The council know about secondary schools but they are too concerned with junior school places at the moment. Secondary school places will creep up on them suddenly though.
The council know about secondary schools but they are too concerned with junior school places at the moment. Secondary school places will creep up on them suddenly though. Robh
  • Score: 1

10:47pm Sun 12 Jan 14

LordAshOfTheBrake says...

Councillors are entirely responsible for ensuring there are enough school places to go around, and for both primary and secondary schooling in North Swindon they are failing in their duties to provide.

If you ever try to speak to any of the about it, all you get is its someone else's fault, or central government are not providing the funding.

The situation will come to a head when the only available places are those in under performing schools and parents with bright middle class children are forced to use them or go private.

Watch property prices close to some of the schools shoot up in the coming years as people get desperate to be close to a good (or even a satisfactory) secondary school.
Councillors are entirely responsible for ensuring there are enough school places to go around, and for both primary and secondary schooling in North Swindon they are failing in their duties to provide. If you ever try to speak to any of the about it, all you get is its someone else's fault, or central government are not providing the funding. The situation will come to a head when the only available places are those in under performing schools and parents with bright middle class children are forced to use them or go private. Watch property prices close to some of the schools shoot up in the coming years as people get desperate to be close to a good (or even a satisfactory) secondary school. LordAshOfTheBrake
  • Score: 2

9:44am Mon 13 Jan 14

The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man says...

LordAshOfTheBrake wrote:
Councillors are entirely responsible for ensuring there are enough school places to go around, and for both primary and secondary schooling in North Swindon they are failing in their duties to provide.

If you ever try to speak to any of the about it, all you get is its someone else's fault, or central government are not providing the funding.

The situation will come to a head when the only available places are those in under performing schools and parents with bright middle class children are forced to use them or go private.

Watch property prices close to some of the schools shoot up in the coming years as people get desperate to be close to a good (or even a satisfactory) secondary school.
I first raised the issue of secondary school places with both local councillors and our local MP (Michael Wills at that time), in 2005. They've had plenty of time to get their house in order and for whatever reason have completely failed to do so. It seems they are unable to do anything that doesn't involve crisis planning.

As for this:
PARENTS in North Swindon are being urged to face up to the reality of a lack of secondary school places in the coming years.

Well Adver, parents across North Swindon have been shouting about this lack of school places for many years. Our shouts went unheard or ignored. It is not US that should be "facing up" to the reality of the lack of secondary school education, it is the failed policies of this council, who believe it is perfectly acceptable to bus children all over the place to other towns/villages for their education. I for one will be remembering that come election time.
[quote][p][bold]LordAshOfTheBrake[/bold] wrote: Councillors are entirely responsible for ensuring there are enough school places to go around, and for both primary and secondary schooling in North Swindon they are failing in their duties to provide. If you ever try to speak to any of the about it, all you get is its someone else's fault, or central government are not providing the funding. The situation will come to a head when the only available places are those in under performing schools and parents with bright middle class children are forced to use them or go private. Watch property prices close to some of the schools shoot up in the coming years as people get desperate to be close to a good (or even a satisfactory) secondary school.[/p][/quote]I first raised the issue of secondary school places with both local councillors and our local MP (Michael Wills at that time), in 2005. They've had plenty of time to get their house in order and for whatever reason have completely failed to do so. It seems they are unable to do anything that doesn't involve crisis planning. As for this: PARENTS in North Swindon are being urged to face up to the reality of a lack of secondary school places in the coming years. Well Adver, parents across North Swindon have been shouting about this lack of school places for many years. Our shouts went unheard or ignored. It is not US that should be "facing up" to the reality of the lack of secondary school education, it is the failed policies of this council, who believe it is perfectly acceptable to bus children all over the place to other towns/villages for their education. I for one will be remembering that come election time. The Artist formally known as Grumpy Old Man
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Davey Gravey says...

The north of Swindon has had problems with schools for years and years. A sprawl of identikit houses with no infrastructure.
The north of Swindon has had problems with schools for years and years. A sprawl of identikit houses with no infrastructure. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 0

5:46am Tue 14 Jan 14

ChannelX says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
The north of Swindon has had problems with schools for years and years. A sprawl of identikit houses with no infrastructure.
Interesting. 'Sprawl' is a relatively unusual word very much favoured by somebody 'else' who routinely posts negative comments about the town.

Purely coincidence, I'm sure.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: The north of Swindon has had problems with schools for years and years. A sprawl of identikit houses with no infrastructure.[/p][/quote]Interesting. 'Sprawl' is a relatively unusual word very much favoured by somebody 'else' who routinely posts negative comments about the town. Purely coincidence, I'm sure. ChannelX
  • Score: 0

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