Fantasy school places found!

The primary school places shortage is starting to hit.

From the News Shopper:

by Kelly Smale
A COUNCIL is doubling the amount of reception children at a school despite it not having room for them.

Brindishe Community School, in Wantage Road, Lee, is being forced to take on 60 reception children in September rather than the usual 30.

Lewisham Council sent letters to parents offering places at the school even though the headteacher told the council it would not be possible to find room for them.

Read the rest of the article.

The article also mentions that the Council has “created” 510 such extra places, that’s 33 short of the extra need identified in February, a number that Council officers assumed was going to increase due to late submissions.

This Labour administration has failed to plan for the increase in numbers of primary school places. There was advance warning, there was an economic upturn, there were vacant sites that were potential opportunities for new schools.

Lewisham Labour wasted all these opportunities and now is inventing school places out of thin air.

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3 Responses to “Fantasy school places found!”

  1. Jim Says:

    It’s stupid to try and make political capital out of children’s futures. Every sensible person knows that this is a London-wide problem. See this article:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/apr/20/schools-shortage-places-credit-crunch

    An interesting quote from lib dem leader of Islington Council:

    “The size of the problem is severe. Boroughs are doing their best with temporary classrooms, putting more than 30 pupils in classrooms with extra staff. Contingency plans are as good as we can get them but we can’t guarantee they will cover every child.”

    This is a problem in all London boroughs, including, shock horror, the ones where the lib dems are in control.

    I don’t actually hear you coming up with any ideas of your own to tackle what is clearly a big issue for a lot of families which is a shame.

  2. Max Says:

    Why would it be stupid to point at the fact that the Mayor of Lewisham has neglected to plan for enough primary school places?
    There is an election coming and to draw attention to this inaction is exactly what can help people understand why Lewisham Labour should be voted out.

    The Council has been in possession of the projections about growth for a few years and yet didn’t do anything until very recently.

    It also identified Lewisham Bridge Primary as a school to be reduced to one form of entry by making it into an all through primary and secondary, and this when the data about growth was already known.

    It is also the case that despite the fact that these number, that are recognized as being so severe that only a new primary school would do, were known for years, no work has been done to start the ball rolling towards opening a new primary.

    This is shortsightedness, neglect of duty and lack of leadership.

    The fact that the problem is London-wide doesn’t mean that this neglect is also London-wide, in fact in the article you linked (that is one year old) the Lib Dem Leader of Islington Council sounds very much on the case, and in fact it says very much what I also say:

    “The pressures were there last September and we’ve managed them. They are not going to go away and it becomes progressively harder. If we don’t start building now we won’t be able to do anything for September 2010. It’s not something councils can cope with on their own. We need help from government.”

    As you point at, one year ago the Leader of Islington Council was saying what Mayor Bullock is still failing to grasp.

    We need to build extra schools, we need to earmark land for education, like the Catford Dogtrack or the Dragoon Road site in Evelyn, both proposal put forward years ago by the local community and rejected by Mayor Bullock because earmarked by the Council for housing developments.

    I was there at Council, for years, over and over again, to support these proposals from the public gallery.

    You didn’t hear me coming up with ideas because evidently you weren’t there supporting us trying to stop Mayor Bullock building this disaster.

  3. Max Says:

    Sorry, let me correct myself, I’ve been too kind towards Lewisham Labour.

    When I wrote:

    “The Council has been in possession of the projections about growth for a few years and yet didn’t do anything until very recently.”

    I should have written “and yet didn’t do anything” without the “until very recently”, because they only started to try and find places ‘after’ they counted the applications for primary school admissions and found them to be just as high as they thought they were.

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