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Author Topic: Reason for New Board  (Read 8848 times)
Cookham Webmaster
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« on: March 03, 2010, 01:03:41 PM »

This Discussion Board has been set up for all those parents whose children are due to go to Secondary School from a Cookham Primary school this year and are affected by the new boundary changes. A website has been set up at http://www.cookham.com/cookhamnow/education/cookhamsecondary/index.htm
Any suggestions or comments can be sent to webmaster@cookham.com
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Ricardo
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 02:41:30 PM »

As one of the people who filled in the consultation document, I'm quite alarmed at the consequences of the changes. I was under the impression that the main focus of the document was that Desborough didn't stand in its own catchment area. The possible effects of the changes were not outlined in the document in any way that I remember. I can't believe that Cox Green is going to become the main school for kids living in Cookham, it's utter madness and will no doubt lead to total gridlock of Maidenhead. I'd be very unhappy for my child to have to go to a school in an area about which I know very little.
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fehewer
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« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 04:39:59 PM »

Cookham Parish Council responded to the consultation, one of only four 'other organisations' to do so.  It doesn't make any sense to me that Cookham students can't use Furze Platt.  I look forward to learning more about recent developments at the meeting on Thursday morning.
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 08:02:06 PM »

It seems that places have been offered at Desborough, Altwood and Newlands, but not Furze Platt for Cookham residents. So much for let's walk to school and become green.
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nik
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 08:09:16 PM »

see Furze Platts original response to the consultations.  They strongly advised the Local Authority NOT to make the changes:
http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/public/meetings_090326_cab_bsf_appx_F.pdf
Why on earth do these people in Local Authority just steam ahead and make changes when 94% of people previously got their preferred place and the experts ie those running the schools advise against it!  How do we overturn this going forward, its not acceptable.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 08:17:32 PM by nik » Logged
Ricardo
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 09:46:16 PM »

This from Furze Platt's statement:

'Currently 94% of Maidenhead applicants get a place at their preferred school. This is a
very good figure. Unfortunately neither of the options presented have been calculated to
show what difference they could make to families. Therefore we have no information
about the consequences of these changes. We urge the local authority to complete far
more detailed work on predicting the likely impact on parental choice of these changes.'

'It is our view that parents of primary aged children will not be aware of this consultation
and its possible impact on their children. This, coupled with the lack of modelling which
MUST be undertaken to provide us with some detailed evidence of likely impact,
underpins our argument for no change at this point.'
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Bagheera
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2010, 12:37:31 AM »

The consultation document says:

"94% of Maidenhead applicants wanting a Year 7 place at age 11 had a place at their most preferred school by the start of the academic year. No Maidenhead applicants were left without a place in school."

They have managed to put a stop to that then!
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Pongo
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2010, 01:11:42 AM »

Ricardo mentions that Furze Platt School said 'It is our view that parents of primary aged children will not be aware of this consultation and its possible impact on their children.'

Does this mean that the parents of primary school children in Cookham were not consulted?
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aoliver
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2010, 01:16:25 PM »

I am a parent of a child in Cookham Rise School and my daughter has been allocated a place at Cox Green School. I have three other children at nursery and primary in Cookham and I canít begin to imagine how I will get all four children to school by 9am.
I attended the meeting at Cookham Rise school this morning which proved to very interesting, I came away with the impression that the consultation document was rushed through and signed off without all Cookham parents being aware of its existence, perhaps we need a parent with a legal background to look into this.
I understand that funds will be made available to transport Cookham children to out of catchment schools; does anyone agree with me that these funds could be used to erect a temporary classroom at Furze Platt School?
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Bagheera
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2010, 01:46:04 PM »

The document, available at http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/public/meetings_090326_cab_bsf_appx_a.pdf

says, "At this stage we are not putting forward specific proposals for change - instead we want to hear your general views and ideas about issues that you feel are important, and then we will use them to help us develop options for you to comment on at a later stage".

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nik
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2010, 01:53:02 PM »

At the meeting this morning (which was excellent) we were advised to raise this issue with both the Parish Council : cookham.parish.council@rbwm.gov.uk and Theresa May: mayt@parliament.uk

FYI my letter to T. May:
Dear Ms May,

As a result of recent changes, the majority of children within The Cookhams will no longer be able to attend the catchment school, Furze Platt, for which the Cookham primary schools are feeders and this is the closest school.  Previous evidence stated that 94% of people got their preferred schools and therefore why the change.

This is the only school within a 3 mile radius and therefore how on earth are working parents meant to get their children to other schools and keep jobs?  In addition, all this will increase the carbon footprint and put our children at serious risk if they have to walk or cycle, especially in the winter months.  (there are no direct buses to Cox Green or Altwood!!!)

Cllr Quick quoted that "the change was done to give equal opportunities to apply for single sex education and a religious foundations school".   In effect since the council have not completed any modeling in actual fact it is now forcing families into single sex education and religious education, thus removing any choice.

I am sorry to be so blunt but when such irresponsible decisions are made I see benefit into governments  cutting  local authority jobs if this is the madness they create in their jobs.  Why change the status quo, it was working.  Furze Platt school in their response stated things should not change.  Itís quite unbelievable that the trust we and you as our MP, put in these people that they can make such a huge and dreadful mess.  Who is responsible?

I feel that the council have made a decision without adhering to the correct consultation process and have marketed this as a win for all without fully explaining to all parents the real consequences.  They have not been open or honest and have no empathy at all for the emotional welfare of the children they are meant to be serving.  This new admission/boundary policy needs to be overturned with immediate effect.

Cookham will always be the furthest location from ALL Maidenhead schools and therefore Cookham parents really have no choice, itís not even a lottery.

Please advise how this decision can be overturned and what you will do to ensure that going forward Cookham parents can send their children to the only reasonably placed school.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 01:55:44 PM by nik » Logged
Bagheera
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« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2010, 06:06:37 PM »

Only 6% did not get their first choice previously.  Now it is 24% - so dissatisfaction is quadrupled at a stroke.

We had no child not offered a place at any school.  Now we have 24 failures by the council to discharge its legal obligation to do so.

It wasn't broke so why did they have to fix it?
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jayne
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« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2010, 07:02:20 PM »

I have calculated via google maps that i live 1.085 miles from Furze Platt senior school as the crow flies.I am therefore baffled as to why my son didnt get a place when the borough states that this year intake span is over this. Angry
« Last Edit: March 04, 2010, 07:19:18 PM by jayne » Logged
sprice
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2010, 07:36:24 PM »

I am still completely stunned that, having selected two schools within my catchment area because I believe wholly in the principle of living in and supporting your own community, my daughter currently has 'no allocation'.

What does this mean?

It means she has no school to go to at all. It means, I was told by admissions, that if I do nothing then the only currently available school place is in Datchet.

After discovering the highly suspect manner in which the designated areas were altered, I don't even know where to begin with my appeal. What am I appealing against exactly?
That my daughter doesn't have a school?
That I will have to fight tooth and nail to get her into either the local catchment single-sex school or the local catchment mixed school? That the promises made by the Secretary of State about the appeal process are a mockery?
Or simply, that having moved out of London seven years ago to live in an area where my children could grow up knowing their neighbours, understanding their surroundings and living locally, walking to and from school, activities and shops was a complete fantasy and no longer exists in this country because of ill-thought out and unplanned policy gone mad.

Appalled.

Utterly appalled.
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Bagheera
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« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2010, 09:43:18 PM »

You might want to look at http://www.rbwm.gov.uk/web/members_complaints_policy.htm
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