New Secondary Schools for Richmond 4(1001 Posts)
Welcome. This is the fourth (or perhaps fifth) in a series of threads about Richmond Secondary Schools.
The discussion was originally triggered by Richmond council's publication of its Education White Paper in February 2011. It started with two parallel threads here and here.
In November 2011 the most active of the original two threads reached 1000 messages (the maximum allowed) so we continued the conversation here.
That thread filled up in May 2012, and was continued here.
It's now November 2012, and once again we're at the start of a new thread ....
At the last School Admissions Forum in February admission numbers for 2014 were given for converter academies and RPA published a consultation on its website:
Grey Court 200 (Year 7); 140 (Year 12)
Orleans Park 200 (Year 7); 130 (Year 12)
Teddington 240 (Year 7); 140 (Year 12)
Waldegrave 200 (Year 7); 140 (Year 12)
RPA: 180 (year 7); 120 (year 12)
2013 admission numbers are given for the other schools as:
HA: 180 (year 7); 75 (year 12)
TA: 180 (year 7); 75 (year 12)
Christ's: 150 '(the additional places will only continue dependent on completion of additional accommodation)'. Sixth form criteria/numbers not stated.
There is no requirement to consult on an increase (they must consult on a decrease) but reference to any change should still be made on the schools website.
As part of its proposal, Turing House's admission number is 150 and proposed criteria are here.
I am a bit uncertain about the significance of the admissions forum but it sounds as if it would discuss whether or not there were enough places and planning for the future. If it's only discussing the actual criteria and numbers that's less interesting as they are fairly well advertised. I am surprised that the schools don't have to publish more data on their catchment area, primary schools the students come from etc. on their websites. I think it should be a lot more transparent.
Have just heard that Mr Weeks, longstanding Head of Teddington School, is going to retire immediately due to ill health (he has been off sick all term.) Very sad news for all and sounds like there will be trouble recruiting a Head externally from what has been said about Christ's failure to recruit. His deputy who has been acting head this term seems very competent luckily. Not sure what Ofsted will make of it - they seem to be due in any minute!
Sorry about Mr Weeks - the uncertainty is worrying at a time of such change. I don't think the admissions forum is statutory although communication seems even more important now. But it's not really clear who the participants are representing so perhaps the whole membership needs to be reassessed for balance.
Information that should be on schools' websites is here.
Admissions Forum Terms of Reference.
'The core purpose of the Forum will be to consider the legality, fairness and provision of local state-funded school and academy admission arrangements and make advisory recommendations as appropriate.'
The participants seem to be mainly headteachers and councillors, although I recognise some parent names eg. Janet Hilton who is a governor I think. Perhaps it is a less significant body than it sounds. The secrecy about admissions' patterns is quite odd given what an important subject it is.
muminlondon2: "But it's not really clear who the participants are representing ...."
Hi Muminlondon/LP, this agenda front sheet has all of the affiliations on it.
Ah yes, the religious folk well respresented. I've now heard from Council that this meeting isn't being rescheduled and there will be no meeting until 25th September. So not likely to be a useful source of information for some time.
Thanks BayJay. Some wear two hats - e.g. Andrew Cole is both Catholic Diocesan representative and St RR governor, Malcom Eady is St Mary's and St Peter's governor as well as councillor. Twickenham is better represented than Richmond/Ham/Sheen.
More on the Hove story: the playing fields will not be built on.
It's a rather swift climbdown - was it just a tactical manoeuvre? Still, it's an outcome that suits both local residents and RET.
"It's a rather swift climbdown - was it just a tactical manoeuvre?"
My understanding is that council officers had originally offered the field to the EFA because they hadn't been able to offer anything else. Some councillors knew about it before it was announced, and others claimed they didn't. The 'climbdown' was actually triggered by the council formally saying they didn't want the school to be sited there, and the EFA responding to that. However, they didn't have to respond to it, and presumably wouldn't have done so unless they were satisfied that another opportunity was on the table. The school are still hoping that their original first preference might be made available, so perhaps the council will now decide not to sell that to a developer. Just speculation on my part though.
I think this illustrates that council officers shouldn't be doing deals with Dept. of Education behind the backs of elected councillors and local residents - they must have been pretty stupid not to realise what massive opposition they would face in a place like Hove. It seems that the school has enough room in Portslade for the first three years so perhaps they should go for a split site and put the upper years elsewhere? That seems to be becoming more common around here. I know that Trafalgar have part of their infants school on another site and Thomson House seem to be splitting infants and juniors. I think there was a proposal that one of the primary schools in Twickenham (St Mary's?) would also be on two sites although not sure if it happened. I don't think any of the secondaries have a split site locally though.
I do wonder if Jason Kitcat is the leader of Brighton and Hove Council's real name!
A little while ago people were asking when the Primary School Offer Data would be published. It's linked from RISC's latest newsletter. They also report an interesting quote from Vince Cable about the need for more community primary places in Twickenham
RISC also report that they are a founder member of the new national Fair Admissions Campaign, launched June 6. It aims to end the unfairness of religious selection in state school admissions, and its consequences in terms of religious, ethnic, social and economic segregation. Like RISC, the new campaign does not take a position on the state funding of faith schools.
Among the other national organisations already supporting the campaign are: British Muslims for Secular Democracy; General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches; Liberal Youth; the Association of Teachers & Lecturers; the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education; the Christian think tank Ekklesia; the Hindu Academy; the Liberal Democrat Education Association; the Runnymede Trust; and the Socialist Educational Association.
Apart from RISC, two other local campaigns have affiliated to it: Fair Admissions Lancashire and the Tudor Grange Admissions Policy Campaign (Solihull). Do sign up on the Fair Admissions Campaign website.
I like the Ted Cantle quote in this Daily Mirror Coverage of the Fair Admissions Campaign: "... everyone, whether religious or not, should believe "Thou shalt not discriminate between one child and another.""
Vince Cable's latest newsletter for residents which I have just read seems to contain a note of admission that maybe he has been a bit too sympathetic to the provision of choices for religious parents and a bit too unaware of the overall lack of places. I have written to him urging him to do his utmost to secure funding for Turing House to be able to get a site as good as Clifden and to keep an eye on the "surplus Catholic places" issue, if I can summarise various problems in that way!
For info (sorry, can't link) this is what he has to say "^Schools
I have always been a defender of faith schools because of the extra choice it gives to parents, respecting their religion. But we are getting into difficult - and nasty - competition for places. In a band from East Twickenham to Teddington there are now five faith schools (three CofE, two RC), and two non-denominational schools which are also bursting at the seams.
Local residents are finding that they cannot get places and are passed over for church goers who live much further away. I am appealing to the church authorities to be community minded on admissions.^" Presumably he is getting letters from the parents in Central Twickenham who are finding themselves with more than 20 others ahead of them in the waiting lists for all the schools.
Ditto families in Teddington. Not sure where his band ends and begins - presumably north of the railway so including Stanley and St Mary's and St. Peter's but not Collis, Sacred Heart or Hampton Wick. However that's not a particularly logical place to stop. Stanley is now taking children from central and southern Teddington who can no longer get into SMSP or Collis.
A borough press release says: Local sixth forms are coming!
Secondary schools around the borough are gearing up to host a series of information days to tell prospective students and their families about their new sixth forms, with one due to open later this year. To mark the information events, all the Headteachers have come together this week to launch the new prospectus, an easy read guide into the boroughs new post-16 options.
The events and prospectus have been coordinated by Richmonds Post 16 Partnership, which includes all eight of the secondary schools and both of the colleges. They will provide pupils and parents at schools in Richmond and beyond with information on the wide-ranging curriculum, enrichment and vocational opportunities that our local schools and colleges have to offer.
. . For more information, go to the Post 16 Partnership page and Post 16 Prospectus.
The RTT has MP wants religious schools open to all p. 4 reporting Vince Cable's remarks in his newsletter and Jeremy Rodell's part in the launch of the new National Fair Admissions Campaign on Jun 5.
Glad VC is finally realising the consequences. On another thread a woman in Teddington is describing the serious disruption to her life and work that will result if she has to take her 4 year old to Buckingham School in Hampton everyday which is the only place they have been offered. Meanwhile people from Hampton are driving in the opposite direction as they are still being given priority in the two religious primary schools.
Guardian Education has: Starting a free school, chapter two: our school gets ready to open
Toby Blume, co-founder of the Archer academy, which will open in September), explains how his little group of inexperienced parents has turned itself into 'the gold standard for free schools' . .
The reference to Stephen Twigg and the evolving Labour policy of 'parent-led academies' is interesting - the Mirror had a recent headline 'Labour to drop opposition to free schools in major policy change'.
At the same time, popularity alone doesn't guarantee success - there has already been a free school that has gone into special measures. (Presumably it will now be forced to take on a sponsor?). The new Labour policy would have fairer admissions and more local oversight but approved projects such as Turing House would still be allowed to proceed and would fit in well with the new policy as a mainstream school with fair admissions.
Thanks for the Guardian link Chris - lots of resonance there!
In other news, it looks like Tiffin could be expanding from 2015 onwards.
The BBC has Free school data published by government: The government has published more information on free schools in England in response to a ruling by the information commissioner . . including financial details and impact assessments . . There will also be details of all applications, both successful and unsuccessful, to open both mainstream and specialist free schools . . Kevin Courtney . . of the NUT said publication of the information was a major victory . .
Open free schools may be what this refers to:
This map shows the 24 free schools that opened in September 2011 and the 55 free schools that opened in September 2012. Click on the school for a link to its website address and a link to its contact details in EduBase. You can also download a list of all open free schools from this page.
I found no financial details.
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