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Tuesday, 08 May 2012 14:22

Primary School Admission Problems in Bearsted Area - Update

Pressure continues to build over the shortage of reception class places in Bearsted, centred on Madginford Park Infants School, Thurnham CofE Infants School and St John's Primary School. At the recent meeting of Bearsted Parish Council,  Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, listened to the concerns of many local parents whose children have no local school to go to, and has promised to do what he can to resolve the problem. One new issue is that at present, 43 of the 80 plus children without a school of their choice have been allocated places at  St Paul's Infant School over two miles away. KCC is responsible for providing transport for those unable to make other arrangements, likely to be a minibus, driver as the only adult present, no seat belts, cost estimated at .......

 

over £100,000 a year. I don't think it will come to this, as KCC knows those parents who can afford it will make other arrangements, a few no doubt buying private school places, being driven out of their local schools by KCC's failure to make proper provision.  However, for many this remains an impossible situation. What is becoming apparent is that part of the problem is at St John's CofE Primary School in Grove Green, which has become an academy (although this important change in its status is mentioned on ts website), appears impervious to a sense of responsibility that it has a role in the local community, and can avoid having to make provision for local families as it is an independent academy. It is content to keep its intake at 30 children each year, although it has been offered resources to expand.  I wonder what the Christian Diocese of Canterbury thinks? 

Parents have  started a Facebook Page at SAT Campaign and an e-petition to KCC asking for more places at the three schools, a campaign that parents in other pressure areas may wish to support in the hope that any debate will also pick up their issues, through local County Councillors.  You will find further information in my general  survey and in the specific look at Maidstone issues.

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 October 2013 07:26

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