Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Nationwide Meetings for Members

- UPDATE - meetings cancelled.  Campaign a Success!

Rob Wilson MP has set up two meetings for Nationwide members to discuss the Building Society's recent announcement that the Caversham branch is to be closed.

The meetings are to give members an update and hopefully the opportunity to question a Nationwide representative (although they haven't yet confirmed acceptance of their invitation).

The meetings are:

7 pm on Monday 30 September in St Barnabas Church Hall, St Barnabas Road, Emmer Green; and

4 pm on Tuesday 1 October in Caversham Baptist Church, Caversham.  For further information see Rob's website

Unfortunately I am unable to come to either meeting as I will be in Manchester, but I hope that as many of my Mapledurham Ward residents who are Nationwide members will be able to attend one of the meetings.

Chris Walton, Chairman of the Caversham Traders' Association, has set up a petition which you can sign here

Monday, 9 September 2013

An Important Day for the Future of Education in Reading

Two events happen today which will have an important bearing on secondary school provision for Reading:

This morning sees the start of the Planning Inquiry into Reading Borough Council's refusal of planning permission to Taylor Wimpey of 193 homes on the old Elvian School site. The WREN group - West Reading Education Network fervently believe the site should be retained for school use and aspire to build a new secondary free school on it.

Earlier this year WREN was given government approval for their secondary school bid, but securing their preferred site is going to be decided this week by the Planning Inspector at the Inquiry which is taking place in Reading's Town Hall.  If you support WREN's aims, do show your support by attending however much you can of the Inquiry.  It is going to be in the Waterhouse Chamber.  Today's hearing will be 11 am - 1 pm, 2 pm - 5 pm.

The Reading West MP, Alok Sharma, will be speaking at the Inquiry in support of WREN.

For further information go to WREN's website

As mentioned last week, in East Reading, Maiden Erlegh School is holding an information evening to give parents interested in their proposed new secondary school - to be situated in the heart of East Reading - an opportunity to ask head teacher Dr Peter Thomas and his team questions.  Do go along between 6 and 8.30 pm to Maiden Erlegh, Silverdale Road, Earley, Reading, RG6 7HS tonight.

The Reading East MP, Rob Wilson, had approached Maiden Erlegh with the idea of them setting up a new school having listened to his constituents' wish to be able to benefit from the school's excellent education.

For further information, including the opportunity to register your interest, visit website

Today also sees the opening of the University Technical College, UTC, in Crescent Road, East Reading. More on this later.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Maiden Erlegh School announces bid to create new Secondary

Today Maiden Erlegh School announced their bid to create a new secondary satellite school for 11 - 16 year olds located somewhere in East Reading.

Information will be posted on ME's website tomorrow (4 September), and on Monday 9 September interested parents are invited to visit an Information Evening between 6 and 8.30 pm at the school.

Peter Thomas, Maiden Erlegh's head teacher will be executive headteacher of the proposed Free School and he aims to replicate all that is good about Maiden Erlegh.

Parental support is needed to prove to the DfE that there is the local support, so if your child or children are starting Year 4, 5 or 6 this week, do visit Maiden Erlegh's website to register your support for the bid.  Similarly if you know anyone who might be interested, do let them know.

This is extremely welcome news.  A substantial shortfall of secondary school places is forecast in Reading. Added to this, parents in East Reading are not all able to get places for their children in the highly successful Maiden Erlegh School so this bid to create a linked school provides an exciting opportunity for more families to benefit from the school's much admired ethos and education.

The Reading Chronicle has this report

Rob Wilson MP said “Maiden Erlegh is an outstanding school which has demonstrated yet again with its results this year that it provides a first class education to local children. I approached the school to work with me on a Free School bid so that this excellence could be available to even more local children because it is what many local parents tell me they want. 

We already know that there is going to be pressure on secondary school places, but I also think it is very important that local parents do have a choice of good schools to send their children too. I hope parents will get behind this bid, where there is clearly a proven track record of providing a high quality education.”