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Cleves School expansion

(42 Posts)
frazzledmumoftwo Mon 02-Apr-12 22:26:14

Does anyone know anything about the Cleves School expansion plans?

We chose to live in Oatlands, Weybridge, assuming we could use Oatlands Infants School from 4-7 years old, and then Cleves from 7-11 years old, both Outstanding Ofsteds.

But now Cleves is proposing to expand to a massive 5 classes a year, from 4-11, over 1000 pupils in total??? Leaving children at lovely, lovely Oatlands Infants School with nowhere to go at 7.

I don't think my 4 year old would cope with a school of that size? But you would have to go to Cleves Infants, to be sure of a place at 7+.

I don't know anyone who is supporting the proposals, but there must be supporters (and reasons for their support) or presumably no-one would have proposed it in the first place.

Does anyone out there know anything more about this???? We have just submitted our "response letter" to Cleves Governors, protesting the plans, but the whole thing still just seems so strange, and so "not thought through properly".

I would post in "local" but there isn't one covering our area.

KSwan Mon 12-Aug-13 14:35:59

Expansion was rejected.

Tree2000 Thu 22-Nov-12 22:27:29

Cleves NEVER consult in any meaningful way. They are simply NOT interested in anybody's views but their own. They didn't do so over the change to academy status and look at the so-called expansion consultation: fiasco. Whether or not it has 'support' will be irrelevant to the school.

tiggytape Thu 22-Nov-12 11:53:12

Children of staff gaining priority is something that can now apply to all schools. As of February 2012, schools are allowed to choose to priorotise children of staff who meet certain criteria (normally 2 year contract or filling a specialist role).
Many schools have adopted this and it is unlikely to have a huge effect unless staff leave after securing a place in future years.

The school won't be doing their own appeals - they will be processing the paperwork to pass it on to an independant panel. All appeals are held by independent bodies but where a school is an academy not council controlled they have to either do the paperwork themselves or buy this service back from the council.

As to the issue of feeder schools / priority schools - that is something that the consultation period is designed to invite views on and gauge opinion on. Depending on the local set-up and the alternatives for Manby pupils, it may or may not have support.

Tree2000 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:07:38

What about Oatland's children?!

Children of staff!

Holding their own appeals!

Looster Tue 20-Nov-12 21:26:59

Draft admission policy for Cleves for 2014 published today for consultation - has children in yr 2 at Manby as next on the list after siblings, in effect making Manby a feeder? Look at the 2014 draft policy - link is on RH side of this page

Tree2000 Thu 19-Jul-12 17:10:51

Tree2000 Thu 12-Jul-12 10:12:35

That's brilliant news!

However, don't think Cleves will give up that easily. They think the won't be financially sound in future & (IMO) unable to fund prior commitments. Watch this space.

thestringcheesemassacre Fri 06-Jul-12 19:48:48

it's been turned down by the look of it.
Not sure the OP is still around.

RandomMess Thu 07-Jun-12 19:45:12

By closing either an infants or a junior school and converting the other into a primary you have land to sell off and save on senior staff salaries - only one head, one deputy head, less admin staff, one library etc etc etc

Tis all about money - economies of scale.

Weymum Thu 07-Jun-12 18:30:33

I don't understand how they can say that there wouldn't be enough children from Oatlands and Manby who have 3 and 2 form entries ie 5 altogether! A perfect fit!

tiggytape Thu 31-May-12 08:47:39

You need more applications than places because not everybody will put you as their first choice. Application numbers count all the people who put you 2nd and 3rd as well but who may well end up going to their 1st choice school elsewhere.

I thought a lot of these plans were to do with Cleves being located technically in Weybridge but much closer to Walton and Hersham where there is a shortage of places. There seems a general move in the area to turn Infant Schools into larger primary schools to meet demand. I guess they have to put a positive gloss on the benefits of being a bigger school (continuity, French and school trips) but in reality, a lot of changes are just driven by a necessity to increase the number of places.

Tree2000 Wed 30-May-12 19:41:16

Tree2000 Wed 30-May-12 19:39:15

Well, they're not that good at sums.

I think it would be a great improvement if it were a smaller school.
There would still be French and it has been offered at Cleves since at least 1980s.
Further, there would still be residential trips - always has been.
How are 'numbers' necessary for an "exciting curriculum full of opportunity"? Can't believe they are putting their teachers down like this. Surely that what all schools have a duty to provide small or large? Cleves teach the same old thing tear in and year out - much of it very stale (Freudian slip!).
Opportunities in the performing arts for the same favoured children every year
This is about money and I suspect the school is over committed. Needs a thorough investigation but as it's now an academy that's not going to happen.

frazzledmumoftwo Tue 29-May-12 14:43:43

Why do you need 190 applications to fill 5 classes? ie 150 places.

Tree2000 Thu 24-May-12 23:04:46

Latest offering from Cleves' website below confirming this is ALL about money NOT what is in the best interests of the children & community.

23rd May 2012 Last updated at 14:59
Cleves Primary Proposals
We write to respond to some of the concerns raised at the recent public meeting. Please note Cleves School was not officially invited.

Whilst there is vast speculation about Cleves’ expansion plans, there is a matter which has been greatly overlooked. Surrey’s growth plans could potentially impact adversely on Cleves, which means that Cleves would start to shrink in size from September 2014. There are not enough children from Oatlands and Manby Lodge to fill 5 forms at Cleves. We need at least 190 applications to be full in September.

We are sure that parents would want our ethos of high expectations and inclusive community to continue and we would do this best by maintaining our current size.

Even as a four form entry school, several aspects of our provision would be at risk:

7 Residential visits – 2 of them abroad
Specialist teaching in French and Music
Wide range of extra-curricular activities
An exciting innovative curriculum full of opportunity
The size of the school makes all of these things possible.

Cleves would like to reiterate that they have made a bid to a National Funding opportunity set up by the Education Funding Agency to expand and become a primary school, in line with Surrey policy. This has been an aspiration for several years and both Manby Lodge and Oatlands knew of our plans.

We are sure parents of Cleves School would feel delighted and lucky to have an outstanding local school that was willing to put in a huge amount of work required to take on an Infant Department. They would also benefit from the knowledge that their children belong to a thriving community at an early age, learning how to function within the community and observing the excellent role models of the older children.

They would be able to experience a broad range of opportunities, a wide range of sports, and an opportunity to take part in the performing arts to a high level.

Children can embrace the school ethos, which recognises children as individuals, allowing them to feel nurtured whilst challenging them, allowing them to develop skills to deal with any difficulties that lay ahead, in an age-appropriate setting.

We hope that parents would embrace the buildings that were fit for purpose and the curriculum that was matched to C21 demands and requirements.

Cleves is an excellent Junior School; it will be a fantastic Primary School. We would not allow it to be anything else.

Tree2000 Wed 23-May-12 08:17:57

Latest update above.

The school didn't consult properly over the change to academy status either.

A thorough investigation into this also needs to take into how this school is run.

Cleves seems to think it can proceed without regard to the law (IMO).

ChrissieLC Fri 18-May-12 13:07:46

Just had to post here, Oatlands and Cleves are my old schools! So strange to hear them being talked about. In my day Cleves was utterly dire, it really could not have been worse, but it has improved SO much.

Its also funny because in my day Oatlands was a far better school than cleves. Do they stll have that statue in the playground of oatlands? I remember I got into lots of trouble for picking off the letters on it....sorry totally off the point I know.

I realise that alot of people have moved to the area, which is very expensive, to get into cleves, so real shame they are making a major change that effects Oatlands :-(


Tree2000 Fri 18-May-12 11:59:18

The real reason Cleves wants to expand

Tree2000 Fri 18-May-12 11:50:43

For those interested.

frazzledmumoftwo Tue 01-May-12 19:43:35

Lilian, Thank you for your post - it is interesting to understand some of the rationale behind it all.

However, a few questions for you or anyone else:

I just don't understand how Cleves can be a nice, good school, and seriously be proposing something that they know will result in the likely closure of the two neighbouring infant schools - one OFSTED Outstanding and one OFSTED Good rated. It all seems to come down to Cleves being an Academy and hence being able to work outside the processes that usually apply.

I understand your argument that existing children there are probably going to be fine before these changes all take place. But it is not just about my own children. I love Oatlands School, and I hate seeing it being put under threat by another school. So my children will probably be fine - but I am annoyed on behalf of the school - a key part of the local Oatlands Village community.

Even if you are pro-Cleves (and I can understand that, because I have heard extremely good things about the quality of Cleves education and facilities), you must be able to see how this seems from the other schools' perspectives.

From the view point of Oatlands School & Manby the whole situation seems extremely aggressive. There are phrases being quoted from Cleves like "we can see no other way forward" - but this doesn't make sense. Why can't Cleves continue as is (as a stand alone 7-11 school)? Or, if they want the security of guaranteed demand at 7, why can't they officially link to the two remaining infant schools as feeder schools? I just do not understand why they consider it necessary to do what they are proposing, and I can not understand their "we can see no other way forward" statement.

I also don't understand why Oatlands School leavers are considered to be sub standard, with some needing extra coaching. Out of all the infant schools who currently feed into Cleves, Oatlands is the only one with an OFSTED Outstanding rating ... are you really saying that Cleves views the ex-Oatlands pupils as less advanced academically and less prepared? This just doesn't seem to add up.

I didn't mean this to sound too controversial - so I hope it is not read that way. It is just so frustrating to see our son's lovely school under this much pressure. Because of Cleves' academy status there seems to be very little that can be done to protest, as most of the normal channels don't apply.

RandomMess Wed 25-Apr-12 21:59:43

I have read all the posts in detail but please be aware of the following after the school changes in Addlestone fiasco:

Surrey's strategy is replace seperate infants/juniors with primary schools
Surrey tell bare faced lies about their motives, it is all about saving them money ("the new flats being built in Addlestone will not increas demand in school places as families do not live in flats"
Surrey closed the outstanding infant school in Byfleet
School closures have to go through an independent review process, I'm not sure the same applies to school expansion?

lilianp008 Wed 25-Apr-12 21:51:09


Anyway - - I understand and respect it is a very personal view point, and there are so many view's to this topic - I feel it's my turn to share my thoughts:

My children completed Cleves (well the last one) in September last year, and I was amazed at the standard of the school and my children (all 3) left Cleves with confidence and values which they still use today not to mention a fantastic educational standard. Oatlands might be about many things, of course the children are happy and content, and that is positive, but, as far as I know, no child arrives in Cleves up to the standard that the other schools have propelled their children. Therefore Oatlands children from an educational stand point are somewhat way behind.

I ask why many parents of Oatlands have started to invest in tutors at Oatlands to bring them up to the level they should get to when they start Cleves.

My point is, I think if children were to start at reception at Cleves, the standard of education would be higher, the children would be consistently happy and parents wouldn't dread the move from Oatlands to Cleves as much as they do. Let alone have to invest in tutors at the age of 6/7! - thats insane.

In addition how amazing to be able to do one school drop off. As a mother, I would welcome that any day. In addition the children would be able to enjoy their siblings in the school environment (it adds to future fond memories for them personally). I also think the physical education is excellent at Cleves they have the facilities and the grounds to be able to accommodate all these children.

The way I understand it is, Cleves will obviously have a separate building which will house years Reception, Year 1 and 2 - - so these little kids won't be exposed to the masses.

Teachers will have more opportunities to expand their careers too - working with a bigger school is a great way to evolve their career.

One of the mothers from Cleves told me that it is an 'aspiration' of Cleves to do this, but the parents who seem to be up in arms are the ones who have children at Oatlands at present and are somehow worried their kids won't get into Cleves if this does go ahead... seriously, if this project happens - it's not going to happen over night and frankly how crazy to think that the government would leave children without educational places.

Personally - I think most people don't like change - - and are scared of it. I think it is a positive change and I hope it happens.


Tree2000 Mon 23-Apr-12 20:53:54

Attainment Gap
By the way, what happens in Y3 is that your child starts the year with say L3 & by the end of Y3 many have dropped to a L2 & the occasional L1. This is said not to be the fault of the school but because Cleves' standards are so high.
Believe that if you will. Personally, I put it down to he poor treatment & low expectations suggested above. Again only an opinion & others may have different impressions.

Tree2000 Mon 23-Apr-12 20:41:43

The last word I'd use to describe Cleves is lovely.

If you risk sending a seven year there you'll find out why. Heaven knows what they'd do to four/five year olds!

More appropriate words might be fear, cruelty, tears, loss of dignity & lack of respect for children ...I could go on at length. Lots of shouty teachers too.

I don't think so much 'attainment gap' but low expectations by Cleves of all abilities.

They get their results by cramming the children in Y6 (a SATs paper every morning all Y6) and asking parents to have their children tutored in Y6 if it looks like they won't make the grade. The rest of the years nobody cares how well the children are doing. It doesn't feel like the place is run in the children's interests but simply as a business. Sport is very poor despite the showy new sports hall. French is taught but very badly Same children picked every time for drama performances.

A nasty place run by a bullying head. Only my opinion of course but you did ask - others may think differently.

I've had children at Oatlands & Manby both really nice happy schools that serve their pupils well.

I think you've misinterpreted the presumed slur. Actually it's just that the Head at Cleves was protesting about now increased intake to Ashley, Burhill & Bell Farm which will leave Cleves short on numbers (& money!) which won't be covered by an increased intake (according to her) of children from Manby & Oatlands. Hence the focus on wanting the children from Hersham & Walton as there's more of them and more pennies to be derived from them and possibly even more with the new 'Pupil Premium' attached to low income families.

There are other threads on here about Cleves that you could look at too.

frazzledmumoftwo Mon 23-Apr-12 17:38:22

Just out of interest, what do you mean Cleves have always been like this? What's happened in the past?

When we moved to the Oatlands Village area of Weybridge a few years ago we just thought Oatlands lovely for 4-7, Cleves lovely for 7-11, and it all seemed really simple.

And what is wrong with the 7 year olds arriving from Oatlands & Manby ... there seems to be a real undercurrent that Cleves doesn't like them. Oatlands and Manby are both great schools ... what is the "Year 3 attainment gap" they are worried about, and are 7 year olds from Walton & Hersham much better in some way?

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