Parents Say Primary School Consultation A 'Sham'
Grove Park Primary parents angry with Hounslow Council
A group of parents opposed to expanding Grove Park Primary School have claimed the consultation process so far is “a total sham”. They say Hounslow Council has ignored the fact that over 90% of parents and local residents were opposed to doubling the numbers in the summer consultation and have failed to listen to their concerns.
Whilst the formal consultation on expanding Grove Park Primary School continues, some parents have said they are "very unhappy" at the way their views have been "ignored" by Hounslow Council.
A spokesperson for the group said 91% of those who responded to the first consultation in the summer were opposed to doubling the numbers at the school, with only 4% in favour. Of 700 responses for the 17 schools proposed for expansion in the borough, 283 were for Grove Park alone, with 258 people voicing their opposition, and only 11 in favour, said a statement from the group.
One member of the public who attended the Cabinet meeting on 4th September at which it was agreed to issue formal notices for all 17 schools said ; ‘It was a total whitewash. The expansion of all these primaries was only one of a dozen items on the agenda, and less than eight minutes were spent on it. No individual schools were discussed at all and all were just waved through en masse. ‘A done deal’ indeed.’ "
We have asked Hounslow Council to comment on the matter.
"The consultation booklet which was circulated to parents and elsewhere in Chiswick stated in the introduction that ‘ the views of parents…are of the utmost importance to these plans’, but many of us now feel that the consultation was a total sham," said the spokesperson.
People now have until 26th October to e-mail their views on the proposed expansion to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to School Organisation Officer, Children's Services & Lifelong Learning, London Borough of Hounslow, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow,TW3 4DN.
Anyone concerned about the way the process has been handled so far can also get in touch with Steve Curran, the Cabinet Member for Education at Hounslow Council or Judith Petterson, Director of Children’s Services, as well as asking Chiswick councillors to question the way the process has been dealt with, or contacting Mary Macleod, MP for Chiswick.
The consultation report can be found by googling CSLL244 or via this link;
http://democraticservices.hounslow.gov.uk/(S(0jvmmq45oktuyd55cs22ct45))/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=73345. The agenda can be found by googling Hounslow Cabinet 4 September or via this link;
They say if an extra reception class was taken every year, the school would almost double in size from its current 220 pupils within seven years and this would be detrimental for the school.
Amongst their objections is that Grove Park Primary will lose its ‘community feel’, that it will create road and safety hazards with extra school traffic, and that the birthrate in Grove Park, (at between 0-15%) does not suggest there is a demand in the local area.
October 19, 2012