Monday 4 March 2013

School Places: 2nd Consultation

The following press release has just landed in my In-Box.

I am frustrated more advance notice hasn't been given.  Last time public awareness was extremely limited, with correspondingly poor turnout.  At Cabinet I highlighted parents' anger at the ridiculous lack of notice for the first consultation in October 2012 as only a couple of working day's notice was given. Notice this time has been extended to 7 days (although that reduces down to 5 as the local papers don't come out until Wednesday), assuming they have space to print it immediately). Parents have busy lives & may well have work commitments plus they may need to book child care.

However putting this issue to one side it is important to participate in this second consultation & also to spread the word to other parents & expectant parents!

Let’s Talk Education – Come and See the Proposals

Reading Borough Council Press Release
PARENTS and local residents are being invited to a series of Let’s Talk Education feedback events in March to hear more about how Reading Borough Council is proposing to meet the rising demand for school places across the town. 
The feedback events – which will take place in the north, south, east and west of the borough – is a chance for local residents, parents, schools and any other interested groups to hear about how the Council has taken the views of local communities on board to draw up area by area proposals to provide more school places. It follows on from a detailed consultation last Autumn where local people were asked to have their say.

A national shortage of school places in being mirrored in Reading. In 2012 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.

Current indications are that 210 of those 360 places will be needed in the west of the borough, 60 each to the south and east, and a further 30 to the north of Reading.

A number of different ideas and priorities have been proposed for each of the areas following last year’s Let’s Talk Education consultation. Several suggestions have been made about where the extra places could come from, each with different strengths. The next phase is to go out to local communities again with these ideas, gather more feedback and help the Council prioritise options which will be taken forward through 2013 and will form the basis of bids the Council will lead to the Department for Education for the recently announced Targeted Basic Need Programme.

The consultation events are:

East Reading: Tuesday 19 March 2013, 7:30pm, Wycliffe Baptist Church, 233 Kings Road, RG1 4LS

North Reading: Wednesday 13 March 2013, 7:30pm, Highdown School, Surley Row, Emmer Green, Caversham,RG4 8LR
Thursday 14 March 2013, 7:30pm, Caversham Park Village Association, Northbrook Road, Caversham, RG4 6PF

South Reading Monday 25 March 2013, 7:30pm, New Directions, 330 Northumberland Avenue, RG2 8DH

West Reading Tuesday 12 March 2013, 7:30pm, Emmanuel Methodist Church, 448 Oxford Road, RG30 1EE
Wednesday 20 March 2013, 7:30pm, Meadway Sport Centre, Conwy Close,Tilehurst, RG30 4BZ

Drop-in Session Saturday 16 March 2013, 10am -3pm 3B’s, Town Hall, Blagrave Street, RG1 1PZ 

All residents are welcome to attend any of the events to find out more and have their say. If people cannot attend they can see the options and have their say at

Follow the consultation at or .