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Council last night

September 16, 2009

nickkilby(2)Conservative Councillors secured important assurances at last night’s meeting of the Council from the Administration that they will protect access to schools for Kingston Children.

The Conservative Councillors were concerned that the submission to overturn the Greenwich Judgement through the Sustainable Communities Act was being made without due consideration of important issues that need to be addressed before any such change can be undertaken.

Kingston children attend schools outside the borough in Richmond, Elmbridge and Merton. The Council needs to ensure that, should other Borough Councils seek to stop our children attending their schools, we must have enough school places in Kingston to cope with the additional demand. This may well need more new forms of entry than the additional 15 already identified for the growth in our population.

The Conservative Councillors believe that parents should have a right to choice of schools for their children and this will need to be reviewed to ensure that our schools have surplus capacity to provide this choice post after the Greenwich Judgement.

The Administration has a track record of not doing its homework when it comes to our schools. They missed the growth in population and the council is planning to build up to three new primary schools and expand many others in the borough. They also need to build a large secondary school in north Kingston and to increase the sizes of two other secondary schools when they are rebuilt as part of the Building Schools for the Future, having previously denied further provision was needed.

Cllr Nick Kilby said I am pleased last night that the administration recognised that they would have been deeply irresponsible to seek this important change in education law without making sure we can definitely provide a school place for every Kingston child as they need it. They have been woefully lacking in provision of sufficient school places in the last two years and we do not need to plunge our schools to new depths of chaos!”

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