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Richmond Borough Schools Chat 8

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muminlondon2 Sun 28-Feb-16 20:25:16

This thread follows on from Richmond Borough Schools Chat 7.

News and opinions on all the changes to schools in Richmond borough.

muminlondon2 Sun 28-Feb-16 23:08:06

The results of the consultation are here:

The school won't expand to 200 places.

However, despite a majority opposing the 80/20 split from the admissions point (by 2 to 1), the school is sticking to its guns for at least another year while 'ongoing discussion' with the LA and 'negotiations on the acquisition of the site' continue ...

WhittonMum1 Mon 29-Feb-16 14:32:14


Although overall the majority of respondents thought we should increase the proportion of places allocated to the school site, the responses from those most directly affected, primary parents, were evenly distributed (with 107 wanting 80% or more for the Admissions Point, and 109 wanting fewer than 80% for the Admissions Point)

So, 107 primary parents want 80% or more and 109 primary parents want fewer than 80%. Yet, the table A1.2 in the appendix has the data:

Primary parents 94 (yes to 80% or more) and 122 nos.

They add up to the same total (216) but why have the numbers changed?

Muminlondon2 you are good with figures, what have I missed here?

WhittonMum1 Mon 29-Feb-16 16:39:48

I´m going to answer my own question here. 13 primary parents responded no because they actually wanted more than 80% from the admissions point. Therefore 94+13 is 107.

MrsSalvoMontalbano Mon 29-Feb-16 16:39:59

Thanks for starting the new thread = hope it will load faster than the other one - although for some reason local site always seems massively slower than main site?

Jellytoto Mon 29-Feb-16 19:21:14

I'm glad a Fulwell & HH councillor responded to the consultation to support his area, even if they didn't do it with as much noise as their Whitton equivalent. I hope those whitton councillors all read the report properly and think about it from the perspective of everyone not just their own area as there's a lot of information there. Its a shame there's no record of what the Hampton North councillor said, though I can guess.

Jellytoto Mon 29-Feb-16 19:28:00

Muminlondon I followed one of the links in the report to the school web site and found this graph which looks like it uses the same data you wrote about the other day

muminlondon2 Mon 29-Feb-16 20:49:58

Jellytoto interesting graphic, and I take your point that we don't know whether the private sector will expand proportionately. But it has certainly expanded - Kew House is new, there have extra classes in existing schools like Surbiton, etc. Even in the most pessimistic scenario, there will be a surplus of places for at least three years, and quite probably for up to eight years, so Turing House does not need to expand. Not yet, not for several years - and there is potential for HA or TA to expand anyway if needed.

And WhittonMum1's figures showing those scenarios quite clearly showed that if private school places do expand proportionately, Fulwell and Hampton Hill pupils are more likely to take up private sector places than Whitton or Heathfield.

One factor that could have a big impact on all of this is the EU referendum and its impact on the economy, jobs and people's ability to afford private education, immigration, and political stability in this country.

Would like to know which councillors said what, however. I'm not entirely clear what the LibDems think, and if there are Conservative councillors supporting a different position from the leadership, it's like a mini-split in the local party echoing what's happening nationally. Well, we live in interesting times.

muminlondon2 Tue 01-Mar-16 08:51:47

I realise that I made an assumption the Fulwell and Hampton Hill councillors were all Conservatives when in fact two of them are LibDems. Again, I'm really not clear what their position is on an admissions policy that takes only 20% from the local area. Is it published anywhere? I gather they are still objecting to the location but the school wouldn't have opened without that site.

I was trying to work it out from the [] consultation on turning Hampton Community College into an academy]]. Some of the (much more detailed) responses seem to echo the Conservative position of the time: that they supported HCC as it was, but that it needed a sixth form, that they didn't like the sponsor because of its untested methodology, and that they thought the consultation was flawed. Then there were responses echoing the LibDem position at the time, which was to welcome its 'transmogrification' and 'regeneration' into an academy to get access to building funds.

So of course that has all moved on with the new Waldegrave/Teddington trust taking over. And it has a sixth form, as well as SEN provision which they presumably don't want to undermine.

Wish the RTT would interview them all again and tell us what they think now of the school's policy.

muminlondon2 Tue 01-Mar-16 08:52:49

consultation on turning Hampton Community College into an academy

LProsser Tue 01-Mar-16 09:17:05

I think LDs will probably object to building on MOL. Id imagine that they would support 80/20 as they have had years of parents worrying about lack of secondary school places in their ward. They supported TH being at Udney Park when Tories opposed it. But if there is no alternative site who knows what will happen. There doesnt seem to have been discussion of TH keeping Livingston House and finding a 2nd site nearby and having an upper and lower school as some secondaries do, although not round here.

ChrisSquire2 Tue 01-Mar-16 11:23:28

muminlondon2: to get the Lib Dem position on these issues contact the appropriate spokesperson: Cllr Suzette Nicholson; Title: Opposition Spokesperson for Children and Families; Party: Liberal Democrat; Ward: Hampton.

ChrisSquire2 Tue 01-Mar-16 11:32:19

RTT Online has Did you get a school place? Hundreds set to miss out on first three choices due to secondary place shortage: . . Achieving for Children (sic), the company running children’s services in Kingston and Richmond, has said 1,933 places are available but were unable to say how many entry to year 7 applications had been made . .

sheilafisher Tue 01-Mar-16 11:33:08

I've just seen on the BBC that the Greggs bakery in Twickenham is to close. Was this not suggested as a possible school site at one time?

Mainly about Scotland but mentions Twickenham

LProsser Tue 01-Mar-16 12:05:39

The Hounslow Chronicle is reporting that there were 5151 children applying for year 7 in Hounslow and only 2907 places so a shortfall of 2224 places. If this is correct it should mean Hampton and Twickenham Academies are more than full as they are close to the boundary line.

ChrisSquire2 Tue 01-Mar-16 12:41:27

LProsser, here’s the full quote:

‘ . . Hounslow council is reported to have had 5,151 children applying for entry to Year 7 in September with only 2,907 spaces available. The shortfall of 2,224 places makes it the worst borough for shortage of secondary school places in England, according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request obtained by education law firm Simpson Millar. However, the council says the shortfall only affects applications made by parents from outside the borough . . ‘

So it’s not a ‘shortage’ but an ‘oversubscription’, which would seem to be a sign of success rather than failure. No doubt LBRuT has a similar number. They have only published partial results, intended to make parents anxious.

LProsser Tue 01-Mar-16 12:59:23

So some of the 5151 may be children from Richmond applying to Catholic schools or Heathland or even just putting a Hounslow School as one of their 6 choices without wanting to go there? Definitely a bit deceptive to describe that as a shortfall of 2224 places! It would be better if they reported how many children living in each borough are applying for year 7 but local authorities don't ever seem to know how many relevant children there are which seems to be one of the difficulties for place planning. I think they would be clearer if they did a survey of all parents in local schools in years 4 and again in year 5 to ascertain intentions.

muminlondon2 Tue 01-Mar-16 13:55:19

LProsser yes, whereas in Richmond we have four non-denom comprehensives close to borders so we get applications from three other boroughs, we only have two faith schools that have defined distance or parish criteria, so they wouldn't actually take many from out of borough (not as much as others).

Hounslow has at least five comps taking from at least four surrounding boroughs.

But in addition there are six faith schools (including Green School for Boys and Nishkam - assuming they are open) taking from Richmond, H&F, Ealing, Hillingdon, Wandsworth, Kensington and Chelsea, etc.

That's why it's misleading going on applications alone - they're multipled by number of preferences. Or even on pupil numbers within a borough - going back to Turing House's infographic, that may ponder the private market but not preferences of religion or academic selection (which can inform private school demand anyway - however many new mainstream free schools you set up). There's quite a lot of double-counting going on.

muminlondon2 Tue 01-Mar-16 13:59:08

sheilafisher wonder if that was the mystery commercial site in the TH application? Given the uproar over Colne Road congestion and on buses past Twickenham Green, which have already filled up with StRR pupils, there could be more problems there than at Heathfield.

WhittonMum1 Tue 01-Mar-16 15:39:14

That's why it's misleading going on applications alone

That's exactly what I thought when I saw the last table in the consultation report.

sheilafisher Tue 01-Mar-16 16:21:28

Totally agree about congestion muminlondon but it is at least accessible from the supposed centre point of need. Plus, with the first sweep of Orleans only just making it to the bridge on the green last year, I imagine as a location, many parents would be relieved.

muminlondon2 Tue 01-Mar-16 18:27:22

But bluestars and jellytoto, when I suggested West Twickenham may become a gap between two points, defended the 80/20 admissions policy, by saying that RTS would serve that area. And so it could - but that's another group using the buses, so putting another school just wouldn't get planning permission. Especially given Twickenham Primary Academy needs to submit its own travel plan first.

Also, Orleans Park catchment (which will also overlap RTS too) goes right up to its doorstep, even before the 50 or so reoffered waiting list places extend it further.

muminlondon2 Tue 01-Mar-16 22:30:39

Tania Mathias is disappointed in the consultation response, and it's reported in the RTT so are Councillors Grant Healey (Conservative) and John Combs (LibDem). Cllr Combs also suggests that there are fewer applications from Whitton because parents weren't sure they're eligible to apply (very true - Turing House probably didn't go and sell itself to the Whitton primaries either).

On the Whitton Village Facebook page Grant Healey makes a statement (backed up by fellow Conservative Cllr Gareth Elliott).

'The site in Heathfield is currently owned by Hounslow Council. As far as I know negotiations between that Council and the Government’s Education Funding Agency (EFA) have not yet resulted in the sale of the site. It is not within the power of Richmond Council to stop the sale.

A school, under certain circumstances, can be built on Metropolitan Open Land (houses cannot). The EFA would have to satisfy specific criteria to be able to build on the MOL site.

If the sale goes through the major legal challenge would come when the EFA applied for Planning Permission for the School to Richmond Council. ... One major issue would be the School’s impact on local traffic. ... The Planning Committee could turn down the application if ‘material considerations’, legally recognised criteria, where identified, for instance, issues regarding, traffic, flooding, contamination – otherwise a refusal could be overturned on appeal.'

Perhaps also one of the conditions of Hounslow selling the land and for MOL to be lifted is that the local community (e.g. including Hounslow) would benefit from it and/or have need of it? Turing House would have shot itself in the foot if so.

Jellytoto Wed 02-Mar-16 07:20:58

Tania Mathias's statement is a bit odd because on the one hand it says Whitton has surplus places that will hurt TA and on the other she says if the school does have to be there it should take more of TA's catchment. I expect she's trying to please everyone at once but its a bit cynical. I'll forgive her if she helps push for a more local site though.

I don't think its fair to say the school wasn't promoted in Whitton because everyone gets the same admissions info from the council. If anything all the news coverage of the site gave it more publicity there.

WhittonMum1 Wed 02-Mar-16 07:44:36

I think all parents want their kids to go to a good quality school.

Turing House have sent a strong message to the community of Whitton. "No matter what you think, we only want a small number of local kids coming to our school."

I believe that local schools should be inclusive, have a community feel and be welcoming. This isn't for us.

Turing House are being selective. They are giving priority to areas where parents already have choices such as Waldegrave, Orleans and Teddington available to them.

A lot of people in Whitton don't want the school built at all. All this has done is antagonise those, such as the MP and local councillors, who supported them building the school here, but thought Turing House might compromise on the admissions policy.

After all, Turing could change the admissions to 100% from the admissions point once planning had been approved.

I hope a site in Fulwell is found as the future in Whitton is now uncertain.

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