Parents protest on King Charles Road bridge

Council's primary school placement shortages cause frustration.

Parents took to the iron bridge at the junction of King Charles Road and Cranes Park - an area they say is the heart of a shortage hotspot - to launch a petition calling for the council to provide places for Surbiton children this year, and take action to solve the crisis for 2010.

More than 200 pupils were initially left without a primary school place last year as usually reliable calculations by the council proved woefully inaccurate - and the number is set to jump to nearly 300 this year after another boost in applications.

Although a final decision on locations is not due until the end of the month, Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey said he was confident parents’ concerns would be met following a meeting with council officers.


Well according to the Lib Dem Focus leaflet I read this week it's because the schools are "so good they are oversubscribed!" certainly one way at looking at lack of provisions, maybe if Cllr Liz Green took this issue a bit more seriously and didn't attempt such laughable spin! Then the taxpayer's wouldn't be in such a desperate situation!

Surbiton Parents Launch "Local Schools for Local Children" petition

A group of local parents have launched a petition to pressurise the Royal Borough of Kingston into providing sufficient primary school places in Surbiton.

Please sign the "Local Schools for Local Children" petition at the following link:

(and please email the petition link to your friends and neighbours as well).

We want the council to

1. Add places in local primary schools to ensure no Surbiton child starting school in 2009 has to travel for more than 30 minutes (on foot or by public transport) to get to school.

2. Adjust admissions policies for 2010 onwards to make schools take into account how far a child will have to travel if they don't get offered a place at their nearest schools.

3. Add capacity in the local area for the long term to make sure that this problem doesn't keep happening every year.

This year there are 300 more applicants than places originally available in the borough. Last year there was a shortfall of over 200.

Surbiton is the worst affected area. The problem is plainly getting worse. We need a permanent solution, not a series of last minute temporary "bulge classes".

The Cranes Park / Cheyne Hill / North Berrylands area is no longer covered by the catchment area of any of the four local Surbiton schools. Up until very recently it looked like RBK were hellbent on forcing children in this area to schools as far away as Knollmead, New Malden and Malden Manor. Political pressure has hopefully forced RBK to provide more bulge classes in three out of the four Surbiton primary schools for this year's intake.

But what will they do for the next four or five years when the Surbiton schools run out of space to accommodate bulge classes, and any new buildings have yet to be completed. If you have any children aged under three, there is a very real possibility that you will be forced to travel well outside Surbiton to take your nipper to school.

Even if you don't have children liekly to be affected, think of falling property prices when word gets out that Surbiton is a great place to bring up kids, the schools are great, but you've only got a fifty/fifty chance of getting into them.

As parents withdraw more children from private education due to increases in unemployment and tighter household budgets,the numbers can only increase,add to that the higher birth rate amongst the young east european residents and one can only guess at the numbers.

It is vital that local school places go to local residents in particular both Tiffin schools should abandon the ridiculous out of borough quotas which now probably exceed those places going to local children.

Is there any provision for RBK residents to request that the Tiffin schools should no longer be selective.
It ahs reached the point where the majority of palces at these two Kingston schools are no longer allocated to Kingston residents.

1. increases pollution and congestion with all the little Tarquins getting chauffered in their 4x4's
2. displaces RBK children, forcing them to take longer journeys as well.

These seelctive schools no longer adequately serve the borough that hosts them.

If they were made non-selective, they would still remain good schools - their reputation ensures it.

With admission by distance, not selection, Kingston's children would benefit, not those form much furtehr afield.

I think the Local Public should have Alot more say about what Happens in their own Backyard, Across the Board, Not just on matters of schooling. Your theory though, would also restrict children from Kingston, who wished, for whatever reason, to study outside of the borough. Schools like Tiffins and other Grammer Schools in general are selective in their nature, it is just that some are motived more by money than others. Some even teach their pupils to check their spelling and mind their grammer.

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