Tuesday 9 October 2012

School Places Shortage: Labour Needs your Ideas

The local Labour administration has at last realised & acknowledged the massive shortage of school places in Reading.  With little notice - in what many rightly see as a last minute dash to make up for Labour's years of failure to accurately predict & forecast school places - the administration is consulting the public to get ideas for how to meet the forecast needs.

Rob Wilson MP has been working hard to improve the situation, already having brought the partners together for the UTC (which I've written about  before).  More recently Rob has been working with an education provider to bring forward a secondary school for 11-16 year olds in his East Reading constituency.

Returning to RBC, below is the press release announcing the consultation meeting dates. I hope anybody & everybody interested in education in Reading will try to come to one of the venues.

Let's Talk Education
Reading Borough Council Press Release

Reading Borough Council today (Oct 8) launches 'Let's Talk Education' the latest in a series of on-going community consultations on the issues that really matter in Reading .

A national shortage of primary and secondary school places is being mirrored in Reading. Only this year the Council spent £2 million providing an additional 260 more places for four-year-olds starting school. Current estimates are that in Reading an additional 12 forms of entry - or 360 primary school places will be needed every year from September 2013. By September 2017 all secondary school capacity will be full.

'Let's Talk Education' wants to hear from local residents, parents, schools and any other interested groups. Their opinions will help shape the Council's plan to meet the demand for primary and secondary school places in Reading .

Opinions gathered in the consultation will enable Reading Borough Council to have a better understanding of how people feel about the choices that impact on decisions about school places. These choices include things like school sizes, educational standards, admissions and transport options, as well as the impact on the local environment.

The Council has scheduled a series of 'Let's Talk Education' events, starting next week, across each of the local communities in the town and running through October. People do not have to be parents to attend - every local resident is invited to make their views known.

The meetings will be at:

Monday October 154pm: Moorlands Primary School , Church End Lane, Tilehurst / 6.30pm: Micklands Primary School , Micklands Road, Caversham
Tuesday October 164pm: Whitley Park Primary School , Basingstoke Road, Whitley
Wednesday October 176.30pm: Reading Town Hall Discussion on Secondary School Places
Thursday Oct 184pm: New Town Primary School , School Terrace / 6.30pm: Southcote Primary School , Silchester Road
Thursday October 254pm: Oxford Road Community School,146 Oxford Road

Each of the meetings will include a presentation on the shortage of school places across the borough. People will then have the opportunity to ask any questions they have and give any feedback. Questionnaires will be available at the meetings for people to fill in.

Anyone not able to make one of the events can also make their views known The closing date for consultation is November 7.The Council will then feedback from the events and the consultation to those that took part. 

Update: the Consultation deadline has been extended to 18th November 2012.