Tuesday 10 March 2015

Where Should The Heights Primary School's Permanent Home Be?

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has opened a public consultation to identify a permanent site out of a choice of five possible locations north of the river for The Heights Primary School.  The Education Funding Agency is funding the consultation.

If you have a view on where The Heights’ permanent home should be, do participate in the consultation.  RBC is writing a letter with details of the consultation’s format to about 67,000 households in Reading and the parishes of both Mapledurham and Kidmore End.

The EFA will be publishing an Information Pack next week (16 March or thereabouts) which will have particulars on each of the five possible sites.  This will be available electronically from RBC’s website with hard copies available at the Civic Centre, local libraries and leisure centres.

Thereafter a public meeting will take place on Wednesday 25 March starting at 7 pm (doors open at 6.30 pm) at Rivermead.  If you wish to attend, RBC asks that people register in advance on the council’s same website page.  The meeting will be independently chaired, but the panel line-up is yet to be announced.  If you would like to ask a question, submit this when you register to attend.

A survey will go live on RBC’s website page at 9.30 am on 30 March with hard copies available.

To recap, The Heights opened in September, much to the relief of local families who otherwise would not have been offered a Reception class school place north of the river as there was a shortage of places, on a temporary site in lower Caversham.  The school has a fantastic Head, Karen Edwards, who together with her staff, governors and trustees has established a nurturing and exciting learning environment in which pupils are thriving.

The EFA bought Highridge, a residential site in Upper Warren Avenue (UWA), last June having first looked at all possible sites for the school’s permanent home within the catchment area.  However due to the public’s negative reaction to the UWA site and following requests by Rob Wilson MP, the EFA decided to concede to the local Member of Parliament’s request to consult the public to try and find a locally supported permanent home for The Heights.

The Heights temporary site off the Gosbrook Road is not large enough to be the school’s permanent site, even if it were located within the school’s catchment area.

The possible five sites (as listed by RBC) are:

High Ridge, Upper Warren Avenue
Mapledurham Playing Fields
Albert Road Recreation Ground
Shipnells Farm (better known as Bugs Bottom)
Dysons Farm (Land at the junction of Shepherd’s Lane and Kidmore Road)