Thursday, 21 April 2011

“Crazy” to change catchment boundaries

After months of scaring parents of children who would like to go to Maiden Erlegh School, today everything changed. The school became an academy and is now independant of Wokingham Borough Council.

Rather than admit that the new admissions policy was crazy, or that academy schools were crazy, the council saif the new academy would be crazy to change what they had decided to do.

Councillor Rob Stanton, executive member for children’s services, told members: “From tomorrow Maiden Erlegh will be an academy and academies can set their own admissions. We have no indication they will do that and they would be crazy to do that after what we have just gone through. What we do need to do with academies is to find ways of working with them and we are well on the way to that.”

As an academy Maiden Erlegh will receive its funding directly from the Government although it could buy back services from the council.

The school has said it will not be making any changes to the school’s name or uniform.

The Greens believe changes such as these are likely to be of great concern to many parents and the community at large. “We are concerned about a number of issues,” Green spokesperson Tom Harris said, “principally that these schools would then be free to change their admission policies so that they no longer give first preference to local children. We also question whether governors, who act in a voluntary capacity, are able to fulfil all the responsibilities of employers and can carry out their duties without any support from the local authority."

Are we just creating private schools but the public paying for them?

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