Has your primary expanded from 2 to 3 classes per year?(4 Posts)
Our LEA primary (FS - year 6 inclusive) is currently in 'consultation process' to expand permanently from Sept 2013 from a 2 form to a 3 form entry school. The school took an additional foundation class in both 2011 and 2012 believing it was a 'temporary measure' only to be given the news in Sept 2012 that it was actually part of a feasibility study and plans to become permanent. The new proposal would require 5 new classes to be built, would mean the hall could not accommodate the whole school for assembly at the same time, result in loss of playground and field, increase traffic, etc. Parents realise that due to catchment numbers and the tone from the county council, that this is probobly a 'done deal' and that we are unlikely to prevent this going ahead. We would really welcome hearing from parents who have been through this scenario, especially any that successfully fought the expansion or think that the expansion has actually improved the school or been detrimental to the school. With 'hindsight' if you were at this stage of the process again, what advice would you give to us?
My children's last school went from 3 to 4 form entry. New building was up quick. It was due to expanding housing estate and the need for new places, lots of parents were concerned - some NIMBYs wanting the additional classes at another school in the town due to issues that you've thought of - but it was fine. Yes we had split key stage assemblies and we lost some playground/field space. The children had split playtimes (which my children prefered as they were younger and felt happier without hundreds of older children running round). They also started staggered lunchtimes to get hot dinners done OK. I tried to think of it from the other side - how would I feel if my child couldn't get a school place on this side of town and I had bus them across town?
I suppose it really depends on the site, access, etc. and how well the school manages it all, espcially the fact that people get used to what they've got and don't like change.
The city council have to do something to improve the situation... and if if you are talking about the school I think you are OX3 mum (!), then that school has a huge playground... so a few buildings will not make a massive difference. Although a 2 form entry school feels smaller and friendlier, your school is the only obvious one to expand.... there are plenty of children who need spaces and they need to go somewhere - and that OX3 school is a great one to go to. Hard decisions but something has to be done.
Our school took an extra form in Reception a few years ago. LA wanted this to become permanent. HT and parents did not. Mostly because in 4 years prior to that, what was built as a 1FE school had ALREADY been expanded to a 2FE school.
I already had 2 DC's at the school when the 3FE year was taken. My DS2 ended up in the 3FE year. They are now in Y4, and all lower years have been 2FE again.
The reasons we fought so hard were 1) The school had only just undergone a major expansion, and were still adjusting to that doubling in size. 2) The playground and field were barely coping with 2FE. 3) This 3FE year were balanced by a 1FE further up the school, meaning only two years with an 'extra' class. 4) The halls were already filled with Infants and Juniors splitting assemblies between the 'new' hall and the 'old' hall. Where would another 150 pupils GO?! 5) Not enough room on site to expand any further.
In the end, the LA agreed and opened a new school. For 210 pupils. That 4 years later has 420 pupils. We now need ANOTHER full 420 pupil school for the 2015 intake. Which we were MEANT to be getting. Instead it looks to be at least a year behind schedule, meaning some 4yo's will be travelled 30 miles each way by taxi WITHOUT their parents when they go to school.
I love massive house building projects concentrated in one small part of a town, without the necessary infrastructure in place to support it.
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