Coleridge School

Surgery all morning. So many people just sort of on the edge of society with such tremendous battles on their hands to even get through the day. Obviously the details are confidential – but today was full of people who have truly fallen by the wayside with no one to pick them up. What do you do when you are so ill and receiving severe medical treatment that you are too ill to deal with letters which you receive? That leads to unpaid bills or unattended issues – which leads to family breakdown, utilities cutting you off and then ultimately homelessness. All because for some the right intervention just isn’t available at the right time.

After surgery rush to meet parents at Coleridge School gates. Despite the rain – quite a large turn out. This is just a dreadful situation. Coleridge two form entry school with fab reputation is lined up for expansion to four form – making it the biggest primary school in the country. Local would-be parents are desperate for their children to go to Coleridge because over the last few years there has been a vast shortage of local places for local children. However, existing parents fear the expansion will ruin the family atmosphere of the school; that the disruption of building works will be detrimental over quite a long period for their children; that the dangerous road that divides the proposed second site from the first will mean injured or worse to their children at some point; that the need for places is in a different part of the local area.

This all heads towards decision at the Schools Organisation Committee on Wednesday. The really awful part is that the parents I met simply hadn’t had a real opportunity to talk to the necessary people. Their input has been limited and their concerns not addressed directly with them. Moreover, this is an occasion when the committee really should make a site visit before deciding.

No doubt this is a difficult judgement. However, it has to be made on real facts and proper proposals. Concerns have to be addressed satisfactorily. The issues around the road have to have safe solutions before proceeding. The planning of school places and their locations must be sound and based on proper research. All avenues need to have been explored so that the resultant recommendations deliver the best possible solution for both existing and future parents.