Did you know local schooling isn’t guaranteed for reception children across St Neots for 2018? Join the Facebook page to find out more.
The Round House Capacity Campaign group has been set up with support from parents and families across Love’s Farm due to the lack of capacity at the school for children on the estate.
The Campaign is for Cambridgeshire County Council to increase capacity across St Neots and find a permanent solution to increased and increasing demand on school places on Love’s Farm.
“I would like to assure you therefore, that I and the other members of the Committee are committed to securing a permanent solution to the need for additional places for the Love’s Farm community.”
Councillor Simon Bywater, Chairman, Children and Young People Committee, June 2017
We feel reassured that there will be additional places created for Love’s Farm children due to start school in September 2018. Unfortunately The Round House site isn’t big enough to accommodate an expansion and so the solution will be a new school.
Also like our Facebook Group and Page, or get in touch if you’d like to get more involved in the campaign. We are determined to fight this for our children and the wider community.
Thank you to all the people involved in the preparations, including the independent appeals advisers that have offered their expertise.
Thank you to the families who were able to make it at short notice to the photo shoot for the Hunts Post.
Thank you to Emma Stevens for presenting our petition, Business Plan and speaking on behalf of the campaign. The meeting went really well, with lots of positive comments and responses.
Click here to read the Business Case
Thank you to everyone that came along and spoke with us. We had lots of positive comments and offers of help.
Love’s Farm families had a lovely morning delivering leaflets to help highlight our campaign.
Great community spirit and lots of interested residents.
The current situation with regards to the campaign was discussed:
Emma Stevens advised that the campaign to increase school capacity for children on Loves Farm wishing to attend the Round House school continued. Appeals took place in June and as anticipated no children were successful as the criteria for infant class size appeal was so narrow. Julie Wisson advised that following presentation of a petition to the children and young people’s committee in May that officers were working on a solution to create additional school places for children from Love’s Farm in time for September 2018. Emma added that officers had also committed to ensuring that the solution would benefit 2017 intake and this was confirmed by Julie who said she was confident that this was being worked into the solution. It was noted that St Neots more widely may not have enough school places in September 2018 which was why the Council were looking to act now. Julie Wisson advised that there was only a Plan A being considered by officers for 2018 intake and when she was able to share this she would do so with the campaign and LFCA which she expected to be within a few weeks. She said that expansion of the current school site had been ruled out. It was not known by the campaign what the solution was but correspondence suggested that meetings were taking place with planners and developers. Urban and Civic who were in attendance for another agenda item advised they were meeting education and planning officers w/c 23 July and that although not impossible it was unlikely provision on the Wintringham site would be ready for 2018.
The committee was advised of the frustrations the campaign had with engaging with CCC officers about the future education provision on Loves Farm. There was disappointment from the campaign group and committee that the community was not being engaged as part of the solution or involved in the development of options for future provision, particularly given the support for the campaign by residents the school and councillors and the options set out in the business case.
Cllr David Wells and Cllr Ian Gardener advised that they had also requested a meeting with officers to understand the current situation and to ensure progress towards a suitable solution.
Emma advised that although families had accepted that 2017 intake children would not have a place at The Round House this year she hoped they would in future years. She added that momentum was growing among 2018 intake parents with the campaign continuing to ensure capacity for future years so that children on the estate can attend their local school if they wish. Action RHCC to continue to update LFCA
J Wilson to update RHCC and LFCA as soon as the proposed solution can be shared
Thankyou to everyone that came to the drop in. It was a really great evening with lots of issues raised. We had great support from local councillors at town, district and County level and had some good ideas from them about working with the County Council to push for increased capacity at The Round House and the short term portakabin for this years intake.
“Catchment Area: That part of St Neots bounded to the south by Cambridge Road, the north by Priory Hill, the east by the eastern boundary of Love’s Farm development and the west by the railway line.”, The Round House Primary Academy– 2015/16 Admissions Policy
However, the ‘real’ catchment area of the school is getting smaller each year and is now just 400 metres with children living further away unlikely to get a place.
The geography of the estate means children north of the school will drive past the school they are denied a place at to the the nearest alternative school 2.1 miles away by road.
Taking into account the number of reception classes The Round House has the smallest primary school admissions area across the whole of Cambridgeshire*
*Middlefield Primary & Chesterton Primary have smaller admissions areas but only 1-F
You can follow our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/399537837047802/