New Primary School
The HVA have received the following letter from the Board of Governors at St Peters, who have asked us to share it with you. This is part of the ongoing consultation regarding the new primary school on the Hawkenbury development and the relocation of the existing St Peters CoE school.
Dear Parents and Carers
Earlier this week your child brought home the Kent County Council Educational Consultation Document about the proposal to relocate and expand our school. It asks for your response by 20th March 2018 to the question whether you agree with this proposal, as well as giving you the opportunity to add additional comments.
We are therefore writing to you to provide some clarification of the proposals and let you know how we will be responding to this document. Overall, the Governors are supportive of the plan to relocate and expand the school. We have waited a long time for this expansion which will provide much needed purpose built accommodation and more space for the children to learn and flourish.
The proposal is that the school will be built with a two form entry core (for example the hall and playground) but with only one form of entry when it opens. This will allow the school to expand further to two forms, when the need arises; the proposal refers to this as ‘phased expansion to 2FE’. Whilst we had always expected that our school would increase to two forms of entry (2FE) as soon as it opened, we support the proposal for one form entry (1 FE) in the interests of proceeding with the project. However, we wanted to clarify that, although the school will be expanding, it will only do so at the rate of 10 children per year until 2025. So, when it opens in 2019, there will only be an additional 10 places available for children in Reception. In 2020, when those children move into Year 1, another 10 places will be added and continue each year until the school reaches its PAN (Published Admission Number) in
Demand for places will increase across all year groups with the Hawkenbury Farm Development and our view is that adding only 10 places each year over a seven year period will not provide sufficient local school places for local children. The proposal also means that the children will continue to be taught in mixed classes with two year groups being taught at the same time. We believe that this is not educationally beneficial for the children as well as creating teaching difficulties of delivering the curriculum effectively across year groups. It has always been our goal to move away from dual teaching of year groups for these reasons and so we will be responding to the consultation raising this as an objection.
In addition to this, we have been working hard to consider our options. We would prefer to be able to offer 10 additional places in each year group from 2019 so that we can avoid mixed year group teaching. At the moment, we are gathering information and considering the feasibility of doing so, particularly the financial implications for the school.
We will be available to discuss the proposals at the ‘drop-in’ information session on 7th March 2018. We will also be available at Parent Consultations on 13th and 15th March 2018. We look forward to seeing you then and urge you to take the time to respond to the consultation document and help influence these important decisions about our new school.
Original document: clarification-letter-fgb-feb-18