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Merton's "Jamie" campaign in national headlines!

(34 Posts)
tiddlypom Mon 25-Apr-05 09:18:19

Merton/Wimbledon MNers please join the campaign against crap school dinners - if you've got pre-schoolers, it's even more important - you could save yourself years of making packed lunches .

It's on the front page of The Guardian today.

Outrageously, in the article, the council STILL appears to be saying they're unaware of any parental concerns over school dinners .

Because we're in a very important, very marginal constituency, now is a really good time to say school dinners are a big local issue - don't know about you, but I'm being rung all the time by canvassers, and I just say "school dinners, school dinners, school dinners".

(Well, OK, I do say other stuff, but...)

motherofboys Mon 25-Apr-05 10:08:10

This is a very good point Tiddlypom. I have 3 kids at school and bad nutrition is one of my soapboxes. Wonder if there is anyway for a group of Internet Mums to make their voice heard?

tiddlypom Mon 25-Apr-05 10:28:59

At the moment, I think we have a rare and fairly short-lived RL chance to make our voice heard to all the political parties, because of the election.

I love to see the campaigners scribbling down 'school dinners' when I bang on about it! Let them feed that into their stats...

But I'm sure that after the election we'll need to look at other ways.

Any ideas, anyone?

Prettybird Mon 25-Apr-05 14:45:08

... ah but Tiddlypom, the spokesman just said was not aware of any concersn about "sub-contracting" - he didn't say anything about school dinners! They can be very clever about they way that they answer questions!

tiddlypom Mon 25-Apr-05 14:53:18

Well, at the meeting referred to in the Guardian piece, a parent who had served on some committee said the council was maintaining that Merton parents weren't complaining about school dinners.

We are now!

motherinferior Mon 25-Apr-05 20:14:27


Pamina3 Tue 26-Apr-05 12:09:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pamina3 Tue 26-Apr-05 14:52:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiddlypom Tue 26-Apr-05 15:53:15

It is the same campaign, Pamina3. TBH I'm not sure about the 6 PFI schools - I think some secondaries already are PFI.

Like loads of others, we're going out of borough for secondary ed next year so I'm not all that au fait with how Merton runs its secondary schools.

But one of the campaign's strengths is that it covers primaries and secondaries, so we can all benefit from any improvements.

Pamina3 Tue 26-Apr-05 16:03:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiddlypom Tue 26-Apr-05 16:32:41

IMO the problem with our borough is that it's absolutely stuffed with really good secondary schools for boys and girls, but they're nearly all private. So in terms of secondary schools overall, it has some of the best in the country.

I believe that until recently none of the state secondaries had a 6th form except a catholic boys' school; now I think one state girls' school has too. This has historically often been cited as a problem for parents who hope their kids will continue into the sixth form.

So if you aspire to have a sixth form child, it seems to be widely accepted practice for parents to go out of borough for secondary schools, as we are. From ds' class, children are going to state schools in the boros of Sutton, Kingston, Surrey, Wandsworth and Hammersmith and Fulham. So we have a great choice of state schools in other boros, altho you do have to jump thru some weird hoops, eg be outstandingly good at music and/or go to church phenomenally often if you don't live close.

I hope this doesn't sound too much of a cynical rant! The issue of putting sixth forms back into local schools has been talked about for a long time, I'm glad they've done it in one school at last.

I have a ds,11, and a dd, 7.

Incidentally, going out of borough from our particular patch isn't as bad as it sounds, because buses, trams and the tube mean that journeys to any of the schools in the above boros are not a problem.

Pamina3 Tue 26-Apr-05 17:00:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiddlypom Tue 26-Apr-05 19:08:18

Both of those primaries are meant to be very good, Pamina3, so I'm sure you'll be fine. I think generally local primary schools are of a v high standard, certainly we are extremely pleased with ours for all kinds of reasons.

I stumbled into the secondary transition business in Sept and with some panic had to get to know possible local schools. It's v early days for you of course, but you could start getting to know which state schools are possible by getting all the boros I named to send you their secondary schools brochhures - they're free. It'll seem v daunting - so many schools, all with different admissions criteria - but at least you can start getting your head round it over the years! I was surprised what good options there were, further afield, depending on a range of aptitudes.

The other thing is to listen (tactfully!) to what the Year 6 parents say about schools, because then you'll know what journeys are possible from where you live. You can lend them a sympathetic ear and pick up some ideas at the same time. I say tactfully becos it's a hugely controversial issue, involving politics, religion, class, you name it.

[Bog, just burned the dinner ]

HTH anyway. You've got plenty of time, things will change over the next few years, probably, in any case. Hopefully for the better!

Pamina3 Thu 28-Apr-05 10:43:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

foxinsocks Thu 28-Apr-05 11:11:25

yes, we have that problem in richmond upon thames as well. There are no state schools in our borough with sixth forms - the understanding is that everyone goes to Richmond College to do sixth form.

Having said that, there are a few good state schools (Waldegrave for girls and Teddington, mixed) but there are a large number of children from other boroughs who try and get in to these schools as well.

Tiffin is hard to get in to - I think last year they had something like 1100 applicants for 140 places (for the boys bit anyway).

muminlondon Thu 28-Apr-05 11:14:06

pamina, you must live near my sister! my niece went to D (lovely school) also went to WC as a middle school (also great). Unfortunately that means she will have attended 4 schools by the time she takes her A-levels which is extremely disruptive.

Pamina3 Thu 28-Apr-05 11:18:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

muminlondon Thu 28-Apr-05 11:32:51

Yes, it's around there. Good luck, and don't worry - either of those schools are absolutely fine.

I was getting worried about all this a couple of weeks ago but I researched the topic to death and came round to the opinion that so much can change in 5 years that there's no point worrying. I went to a state school which would fare badly in the league tables today but I did well at school and university. It depends so much on whether there is streaming AND setting and good standards of behaviour at school. (But this is off topic!)

Pamina3 Thu 28-Apr-05 12:05:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

muminlondon Thu 28-Apr-05 12:15:56

It's Q actually! this stuff is probably on your mind because you're waiting for news of a place. I was thinking it over because we want to move house next year and I was checking up on the Ofsted site for the nearest schools. To be honest, all the research I did made me realise that schools in London have actually improved over the last 10 years in comparison with the national average, albeit from a low base. I think I'll take it one step at a time, myself!

Pamina3 Thu 28-Apr-05 12:22:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiddlypom Thu 28-Apr-05 12:27:33

I think it's fair enough to start accumulating info early (rather than burying your head in the sand as I did!) then you can follow changes/improvements as they happen.

There's quite a movement afoot among Merton parents to support local secondaries by sending their kids to them; I didn't feel we could do that becos ds gets extremely stressed in disruptive classes, to the point of tears which is not too good for an 11-year-old boy.

I think in say 5 years' time local secondaries will have improved considerably. One thing they're asking for is more local people to serve as governors and help bring about change.

muminlondon Thu 28-Apr-05 12:33:14

I think so - can't remember the footpath but it's a cul de sac otherwise. I was over there last Sunday for my niece's birthday.

Pamina3 Thu 28-Apr-05 12:35:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

muminlondon Thu 28-Apr-05 12:37:42

tiddlypom, my sister is wholeheartedly behind that movement, glad to hear there is other support - my nephew is starting secondary school next year.

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