Enfield Primary School Expansion

The London Borough of Enfield has been consulting on how to provide more primary school places in the borough. The Council proposes to expand 10 existing schools to increase the number of children that can be taken into Reception classes and in some cases into Year 1.

In my area of Southgate and Palmers Green there are expansion proposals for Walker School and Broomfield School but there are no proposals for a new school. A new primary school could be situated in the old Southgate Town Hall which is empty.

I support the proposal for the expansion of Walker School which is rated a 1 by Ofsted and offers outstanding education. I attended the consultation meeting at Walker which was the forum to have my say. I live ½ mile from Walker School but will be unable to get my twins admitted due to over subscription. There are other issues with admissions to Walker where parents rent properties next to the school for a short period and then once their children are admitted move further away thus taking places that should rightfully belong to people who really reside in the immediate area, but that’s another story!

I do not support the proposal to expand Broomfield School. Broomfield School is rated a 4 by Ofsted and therefore has issues regarding the quality of education provided. It would mean changing the age of admission from 11-18 to 4-18. I would not want to send my child to a failing school so I cannot understand the thinking behind expanding this school. The effect of an expansion would be to force poor education onto more children in the community. Surely a new school in the area would be a better proposition. There is a separate consultation for Broomfield School.

The consultation period is over but if you wanted to comment or get involved then I think the Programme Director of the Primary School Expansion Programme, Bridget Evans could be a good starting point.


Summer of Sport

What a summer! So many wonderful moments that it is difficult to list.

I started my London Ambassador volunteering and that gave me a golden ticket to visit the Olympic Park and watch the Technical Rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony. I feel so proud to be British and to have been a part of the Olympics as a volunteer, spectator and supporter; London put on an amazing show.

The summer of sport got off to a fantastic start for Britain with Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and then without time for him to celebrate he was straight on to the Olympics.

The Olympics being held here in London was a dream come true as I got to participate through my volunteer work and I was fortunate enough to get tickets to events. How can I forget seeing Usain Bolt run!

Team GB did an amazing job and what stood out for me was what excellent role models the sportsmen and women are. After the Olympics were over I watched the Athletes Parade along with the tens of thousands of others. We all came onto the streets to recognise Team GB’s achievements through their dedication and hard work, the athletes held up placards thanking the supporters and volunteers when we were thanking them for the wonderful Olympics they gave us.

Bradley Wiggins and Andy Murray couldn’t be at the Athletes Parade because they were already onto their next job which led to another British victory and Andy Murray winning his first grand slam and the first British winner for 76 years. How on earth will they decide on who will win the Sports Personality of the Year for 2012?

One sport we’re not talking about is football, apart from the disappointment of the England Ukraine match this week. This summer of sport has shown what great ambassadors and role models sportsmen and women can be and that is what we should expect from footballers.

To clean up football and get better behaviour from footballers FIFA should ntroduce the type of instant replay rules that are used in Rugby Union where decisions can be verified by using technology. If the referees could be given microphones also as in Rugby Union then maybe it would force better language and behaviour.

I took videos of lots of Olympic events that I was fortunate enough to be at which can be viewed on my husband’s YouTube channel here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/JonathanMDaniels/videos?query=olympics


Primary School Admissions 2012

Congratulations to the London Borough of Enfield Education Authority on fulfilling its statutory duty in providing the necessary number of Primary School places for the borough.

I made a Freedom of Information request to the borough (The details of the questions and answers are below) which proves that they have made adequate Primary School provision. Does this mean that all Primary School parents whose children will start school in this coming school year are happy? The answer is a definite No.

There are 148 children who have not been offered a place. There are no new schools in my area and new schools in the east of the borough will not help our problems. There is a possibility of a bulge class at Walker but that sounds reactive and unreliable for the long term.

I think a change in law is required so that those resident within a certain radius of a school must be admitted which in turn would mean that class sizes could not be maintained at their legal maximum of 30 children. Smaller class sizes make for a better education.

FOI request and answers
Your FOI Request

1. How many primary school applications were received at Enfield for reception aged children on or before January 15th 2012?

2. How many late applications were received at Enfield after January 15th 2012 for reception aged children?

3. How many Enfield resident reception aged children have not been offered any school place for 2012, irrespective of when the application was received?

4. Will all Enfield Primary School reception classes be at their capacity and to the maximum number of children legally permitted ie. 30? If not identify which schools and the reasoning behind the class size.

5. How many places are available to reception aged children in Enfield schools for 2012? I have added up the places in the Primary School admissions booklet and have calculated a total of 4363 reception aged places. Please can you confirm whether that is correct and if not please provide the correct figure?

6. What was the GLA projection for reception aged pupils on roll for the academic year 2012/13 in Enfield? I understand that this figure would change on a yearly basis so if you could provide the figures for the previous 5 years I would be grateful? If resources do not permit this then the projection prior to October 2011 when this years admission process started.

Your FOI Request

1. 4498 applications were received from Enfield residents by 15th January 2012.

2. 108 late applications were received after the closing date of 15th January 2012 and allocation date of 18th April 2012. The total number of applications received after the closing date of 15th January to date (8th June12) is 340.

3. As at today, 148 children have not received an offer of a school place, irrespective of when the application was made.

4. Currently, all schools in Enfield with the exception of Eldon Infant school will be operating reception class sizes that meet the requirements of the infant class size legislation of 30 children. Eldon Infant School will be admitting 140 to their reception year group in September because of the physical size of their classrooms. In addition to Eldon, Enfield Heights Academy, a new free school opening in the east of the Borough, have published an admission number of 25 and have advised that they will be admitting this number in September.

5. 4,749 Reception places are being made available for 2012/13. This figure includes places at new free schools due to open in September and academies and in those one-off additional classes being provided to meet demand for the coming year. The level of demand for September 2012 is monitored very regularly and additional places will be opened if needed to ensure that there is a place for every child.

6. The latest GLA projection for 2012/13 made this year, i.e. 2011/12 is 4,563. For the previous 5 years, the projections were as follows

2010/11 – 4,467
2009/10 – 4,595
2008/09 – 4,247
2007/08 – 4,077
2006/07 – 4,105


Primary School Admissions 2012

Every year the local paper reports on distress that is experienced by parents living in Enfield when they cannot get their child into their school of preference. A petition has been started to try and address the problem in Southgate. The petition highlights a problem that happens every year in Enfield and I’m sure all over London. As parents we are led to believe that we have a preference of school but that is not in fact the case. I live 1/2 mile from Walker School but that distance will be too great for my twins Harry and Poppy to gain admission in 2015.

The petition will raise awareness and I am hopeful that changes will be made to address the shortfall in school places for Primary School children in Enfield. Some parents that I know have not been offered a place at any school for their child! I am in contact with a mother who has moved back into the area after being away for some months and neither of her children, who are Reception and Year 2 aged for 2012, have been offered a place.

The Education Authority receives projection figures from the Greater London Authority which provides them with the knowledge to plan for upto 10 years in advance. So why do we still have this shortfall in Primary School places?

It is obvious that the Education Authority’s long term strategy is not effective else they would be able to provide every Enfield child with a Primary School place. The problem may lay with maintaining classroom sizes at their legal limit of 30 students per 1 teacher. If the classroom sizes were smaller there would be more room for managing children moving into different school areas and we know that smaller class sizes provide children with a better education.

There needs to be a method to make the Education Authority’s duty achievable by ensuring they have a strategy which provides children with the school places we as parents demand. This will require financial support and therefore either Government or legal support to make it happen.


FLDRA Website

I have taken over the management of the FLDRA (Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association) website. My lovely husband Jon has assisted by updating the site and brought it up to date.

The aim of the website is:

  • to be a source of information
  • to facilitate sharing of information
  • to bring together the local community
  • to provide a method for reporting concerns

Please visit the website here http://www.foxlane.net/ and click on follow if you wish to get updates when there is new local news.


Local Community

As a committee member of FLDRA (Fox Lane and District Redsidents’ Association) we are concerned with anything happenning in our area and try to improve the area. I raised a couple of points at a recent meeting which the association have supported and as a consequence changes are being implemented.

One change is a new zebra crossing to go on Aldermans Hill where pedestrians (myself included) always cross the road to get to the medical centre. At the moment there is no crossing near and pedestrians take their life in their hands to cross the road. Unfortunately there was an accident in that very spot recently where a pedestrian was knocked down by a car, fortunately the injuries were not serious.

I suggested some signs in Broomfield Park so that parents were aware of the facilities and where they were and Friends of Broomfield Park took this on board and requested change.

These may be small things however good news particularly as “localism” is the way changes are made locally.


Primary School Admissions

I am researching Primary School Admissions in Enfield for 2015 for my twins Harry and Poppy who will be starting school then.

I want to send my children to the closest community school to my home which is Walker School at 0.563 miles away; a not unreasonable request. I have checked with Enfield School admissions and had my children been starting school this year they would be unable to go to our closest community school. This leads me to believe that there are insufficient Primary Schools in my area.

I have sent this email to Enfield Council today:

Thank you for your reply. As you know from my original email I am interested in the admissions process as I want to send my twins to the Community School closest to my home.

I have reviewed the data that is freely available on the London.gov.uk website and obtained data using the “Excel Custom Age Range Tool for GLA Projections Data”.
 
I have reviewed the projection for children aged 5 in the year 2015 and also 2016 to take into account the fact that school year admissions start in September; and then divided by 2 to get only one years data. In Enfield the projection of children aged 5 for 2015 is a total of 4650 children (boys and girls).
 
I have also reviewed the admission numbers for Enfield in 2011 and by comparing the data it appears to me that there is a shortfall of approximately 550 places.
 
As you see my workings out are crude and based on the data I have sought; I do not know what process Enfield follows as I am working from the email reply I received below, nor do I know what other factors are taken into consideration.
 
Please can you let me know what the projections are for Enfield’s 2015 Primary School admissions? What process Enfield follows to ensure there are sufficient primary school allocation for the Enfield population in the future? Does this need to be a Freedom of Information request?
 
Yours truly,
Gonul Daniels

 Please see my previous post for the previous email. My calculations may be incorrect but if you don’t ask you don’t know!


Primary School

I had my twins Poppy and Harry in April this year and I am now looking at the options for their Primary School education so that I am not shocked or disappointed in 4 years time when they are due to start.

The closest Community Primary School to my home in Bourne Hill is Walker based in Waterfall Road and approximately 1/2 mile from our home. Walker School has an excellent Ofsted report and is the primary school that I want my children to attend.

My next door neighbour’s children go to Firs Farm School because they could not get into Walker School and another neighbour’s children go to St Monica’s Roman Catholic School. Therein lays my problem!

Based on this year’s Primary School admissions from the London Borough of Enfield I would not be able to get my twins into the closest community school to me, and would therefore have to accept any school offered to me by Enfield’s School Admission Service.

All other schools within a 1 mile radius are religious schools and they have their own admission criteria based on their religion.

I wonder if the number of school places provided in Enfield meets the needs of the borough?

Enfield has kindly replied to my question regarding where they obtain their statistics from and I quote:

In common with most other boroughs in London, Enfield Council subscribes to the School Roll Projections Service of the Greater London Authority, who produce annual forecasts of pupil numbers for each year group for the primary and secondary sectors in our schools, including the 6th form. These forecasts, which also include numbers in academies, are based on a number of factors appertaining to Enfield, including trends in pupil numbers over the previous four years, birth trends, data on known new housing developments and migration (both national and international). Projections are provided for a 10 year period and are produced each year following the annual census of pupil numbers in schools, which is carried out each January. These most recent pupil numbers are also used to inform the projections.

 I have 4 years to work out what to do next!

 

 


Police & Enfield Council Update 11/8/11

Please see attached a Community Update dated 11th August from the Metropolitan Police which FLDRA Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association have been encouraged to disseminate.

Metropolitan Police Community Update 11/8/11

Enfield Council Respect

Please see attached a Community Update from the Metropolitan Police which FLDRA Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association have been encouraged to disseminate.

Metropolitan Police Community Update 10/8/11

 

 


Palmers Green

I walked in Palmers Green today and can see how the local shops have been affected by the terrible rioting (or should that be looting) of the last few days. Palmers Green is supposidly one of those area not affected by the looting.

The T-Mobile shop has had it’s glass doors smashed in and is now shuttered off but you can still see all of the broken glass in the shop entrance.

The Post Office is shut but whether it is because the staff can’t get there or due to fears fir safety and property I am unsure. The local jewellers had a group of people outside (insurers and owners I think) their shutters are down which I think saved them.

I visited the local hairdresser who didn’t know what she was going to be greeted with today and whether there would be damage. She was working on her own because one of her staff couldn’t get there from Tottenham and another on leave. I’m sure that her help could have got there but the worry is the “Civil Unrest” and one doesn’t want to get caught in it or find yourself unable to get home.

Lots of shopkeepers, including my hairdresser, were moving their wares away from the front plate glass windows to avoid the smash and grab which we’ve seen on TV.

This is what I wrote during 2010 and I stick to education being the answer:

We need Enfield to be safe for everyone whether they are young or old. We need to create an environment where there are activities for the young, such as youth centres and sports clubs and make them easily available. I believe that some youths carry knives to feel safe and to protect themselves or to get in with a gang. We need policies that make youths and the elderly feel safe; that will stop youths hanging around together in feral packs, and to teach youths that carrying a weapon makes you a target for violence, for the loss of liberty or worse still loss of life.


Tottenham Riot

My daughter worked at Spurs yesterday and when she left the football ground just after 8pm she saw the build up of the riot happening. Fortunately she managed to avoid the trouble by travelling in the other direction.

What began as a supposed peaceful demonstration led to a full scale riot. This reflects the tensions that have been brewing in the Edmonton and Tottenham area for months following a number of murders. It is astonishing that this has been allowed to escalate to this proportion.

It is doubtful that the initial protest could ever have been peaceful given the facts surrounding the death and the Police shooting of Mark Duggan. Would the Police have been able to calm and subdue people who view them as the agressors in this incident without preparation?

It does seem from news reports that the Police were very late in getting involved and were not prepared for the levels of violence. Perhaps the Police were policing the football match and preparing for the Hackney carnival?

Of course there is no excuse for the opportunists who take advantage of an awful situation by looting. After seeing various streams on Twitter and BBM I’m sure that social networking doesn’t help these situations where easy pickings can be broadcast to many.

Where are the BBC today? I would expect something of this scale to be on covered on national TV; they appear to be looking for UFO’s!


Unaffordable loans

Loans are being advertised on TV and the internet with a 4214% interest rate!

It is outrageous that companies are allowed to charge this amount in interest and outrageous that they are permitted to advertise on national television and the internet.

I saw an article in the Enfield Advertiser where a lady who was loaning vulnerable people money was arrested and sent to trial for running an illegal money lending service, she was charging interest rates of 10% no where near the rates that these legal money lenders charge.

The only people that will apply for these loans are those that are desperate or the, uneducated.

There are 2 issues that need to be addressed:

  1. the amount of interest that can be charged should have a limit or be capped
  2. legal loan sharks should not be allowed to advertise on national TV or on the internet

I can imagine that quick money could appeal to women with young families at home who will see these advertsas a way of getting them out of immediate financial problems; but will eventually lead them into misery trying to repay these ridiculously high repayments.

I will now look into the financial rules and try to get this debated. Watch this space!


Bush Hill Park By-Election

29 July 2011

Congratulations to Lee Chamberlain and to the Conservatives on winning the Bush Hill Park by-election in Enfield.

28 July 2011

Bush Hill Park are going to the polls today. The by-election has been caused by the resignation of the Conservative councillor in the Bush Hill Park ward in Enfield.

I have been out canvassing with the Conservative candidate Lee Chamberlain. The weather has been lovely so fingers crossed for a good turn out. Good luck Lee.

 


Midwife Mayhem

What is happening with maternity care? Everyday we read about the possibility of Chase Farm Hospital closing and now this Midwife Mayhem story appears in the local paper.

I gave birth to my twins Poppy and Harry in Chase Farm Hospital on April 17th this year and can tell you that a midwife’s lot does not appear to be a happy one.

What I noticed from my first hand experience in hospital was that midwives are working an exhausting 12 hour shift. They have to be extremely flexible and have great endurance. For example the midwife that helped me through labour came on shift at 7.30pm expecting to be on the general ward looking after 30+ pregnant women (a feat in itself) and ended up supporting me through labour up to 4am without a break! I’m sure the EU would have something to say about that.

There is a lack of stability and every day is different.  Other Labour wards such as Barnet could be closed for a night creating more work in Chase Farm (this is a common occurrence) or indeed Chase Farm Labour unit could close and make for a quieter day for the midwives.

Imagine being 9 months pregnant and going into labour. You phone Chase Farm Labour Ward and they tell you that they are closed. How scary is that? You have received all your ante natal treatment there and are then told to contact another labour ward in another hospital such as Barnet or North Middlesex hospitals but there are no guarantees that they will be open either.

I only managed to have my babies after waiting 3 days to be induced because Chase Farm’s Labour Ward was closed to new admissions on that Saturday night.

Sickness levels appeared to be high causing strain on the staff who are working, this clearly affects staff morale. All the uncertainty that surrounds our local hospital and the care that they provide is affecting morale which in itself contributes to staff being sick.

I received fantastic ante natal, labour and post natal care in Chase Farm Hospital despite the apparently terrible organisation of the care trust and this is due to the committed staff.

I want clarity from our politicians in simple terms so we understand what is being proposed. It is a hot potato that our back bencher MPs are not leading on.


Car crash

Sadly a car crash but happily no one hurt!

We had just sat down to dinner when a Policeman came knocking on our door to let us know that the sporty 2010 Fiat 500 that we bought for my daughter’s 18th birthday had been involved in an accident. A man had been arrested for drunk driving which leaves us with a broken car, a devastated daughter and no quick repair as the driver had no insurance.

I’ve emailed the Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association so we can discuss traffic calming at the next meeting.


Running for TAMBA

My husband Jonathan is running the Great North Run 2011 in aid of TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association).

They have been the source of help and support in the lead up and following the birth of our twins Harry and Poppy.

Jon is featured on the TAMBA website here https://www.tamba.org.uk/sslpage.aspx?pid=933&srctid=1&erid=908846

and Jon’s Just Giving page is here http://www.justgiving.com/Jon-Daniels-TAMBA

I am considering running but worry it may not work as I would have to run with the twins!


Mrs Daniels

I am a hard working mother of 4 children, and stepmother to my husband’s 2 children. I have been employed since leaving college taking only 6 months and 2 years off respectively for the birth of my children. I am currently on maternity leave following the birth of my twins Poppy and Harry.

I worked at the Bank of England for over 10 years, the Houses of Parliament for 5 years, local government for over 6 years, as well as the private sector at Queenswood School. I currently work for the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London.

I come from an ethnic background and I am second generation immigrant as a result of my parents fleeing the problems in Cyprus in 1960.

I have served the local community as a governor at Ashmole School since 2004; and serve on committees including the curriculum, pupil discipline and staff admission. I also serve on the Fox Lane and District Residents Association (FLDRA) comittee.

My experiences in the local community, as a parent and as a governor have given me the knowledge of the local community and specifically the difficulties that youngsters face, such as the lack of places for them to enjoy themselves, the gang culture that has increased knife crime, and their career and employment issues.

I am keen to widen the community that I serve and my ambition is to make a difference and improve community life.

I believe that I represent the average working person in my area .I am a working mother and I have shared many experiences that the public and local community can relate to such as trying to get my children into good state schools.

I have worked both locally and in London and experience the travel issues that Londoners face and the ever rising cost of being in employment.

I have experienced and share the concerns of all working parents; such as childcare and the ability to work knowing your children are safe. I understand how the economy affects our ability to work.

In my career I have experienced recession and taken voluntary redundancy, I have been outsourced in the workplace, and I understand how an uncertain future can affect communities.

I have put my children through state education and have experienced the concerns that all parents face regarding the quality of education and the inability to get local children into local schools.

 

I have gone through the school appeal process and been disappointed. I have waited until the last moment to get my child into the closest school to us due to local authority rules and expect to go through all of these issues again with my young twins. I know that my children will be unable to go to the closest state primary school due to the lack of primary school places.

Gonul Daniels

 


The Birth of Our Twins

After 9 hours of labour I gave birth to our twins!

A wonderful experience and a roller coaster of emotion, pain, adrenalin, self control, lack of control and much more.

My labour was induced and I had booked into Chase Farm Hospital on Thursday 14th April. I was still waiting to be induced 2 days later and resigned myself to spending another uneventful day on the hospital ward. I dressed and went for a few walks around the hospital grounds hoping that gravity would help nature take its course and bring on labour…. to no avail.

Being in hospital meant that my babies hearts were monitored at regular intervals; today the babies heart rates were higher than the acceptable range so the doctor agreed to take me to Labour Ward to be properly induced.

When I arrived in Labour Ward I was having contractions every 10 minutes and they were all quite bearable. The next few hours were spent by me and my husband doing the Daily Mail crossword; as you can imagine I didn’t get many of the answers correct.

In my birth plan I had requested that I have a natural delivery and that I only have a caesarian section if there was an emergency. I discussed this with the doctor who would be delivering and she said that “We like natural deliveries”. We then went on to discuss what pain relief I would be using.

I had checked the pain relief available and had decided I would try to not use any of the options as I thought that by the time the pain was unbearable I would be in the second stage of labour, ready to deliver, and  it would be too late to change my mind about drugs.

My main pain relief was my ipod! I had a variety of playlists from relaxing Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin to the Foo Fighters and Marc Bolan and went through different sounds during my 9 hour labour. It may sound ridiculous but the music helped me so much as a distraction and as mood setting.

I was disappointed that things I had learnt in Ante Natal class such as using a birthing ball or a birthing bath in labour were not really practical due to the baby heart monitors. Any movements could nudge the monitors so even walking around the delivery room proved difficult.

The contractions were becoming unbearably painful by about midnight (5 hours into labour) but I stuck with no pain relief. I stood up, sat down, lay down, rocked back and forth to get through it. One of the things that really helped was the breathing and a suggestion from my husband to actually count through the contaction knowing that after 20 seconds the pain would have subsided.

At the second stage of labour the Operating Theatre was prepared as it is normal procedure at Chase Farm to deliver multiple babies in an Operating Theatre and that a midwife, a pediatrician, a doctor and more are required per baby. I think there were about 12 people in theatre not including me and my husband! During the second stage of labour there is absolutely no pain in-between the contractions, such a relief,  so you get several minutes of resting between each push.

My first beautiful baby was delivered at 3.45am and whisked away for me to continue with my second delivery, I didn’t even know the sex of my first babe. My second baby followed 5 minutes later by forceps delivery. I could see straight away that Twin 2 was a boy. We had a girl and a boy!

We are the luckiest people in the world!


British Heart Foundation

Last year I signed up for the Great North Run to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. I wanted to raise money for BHF because of the good work they do for those with a heart condition, something close to my heart. My brother Mem was born with a heart problem that he suffered with all his life. Sadly Mem lost his fight for life 3 years ago. My husband Jon has also suffered and had a quadruple heart by pass 4 years ago.  I wanted to raise money and give something back for all their good work.

Shortly before the race I found out that I was pregnant with twins and followed advice not to run. Fortunately my husband Jon took over and did the run for both of us. This is what I wrote on the day:

I  have to say what a fantastic event the Great North Run is! it is packed  with fun, energy, optimism, enthusiasm and raw emotion.

The start of the race is a long drawn  out affair but  no-one minds. There are plenty of fluids provided to  the runners at the  start line which caused an outpouring of runners  leaving the start for  an emergency toilet break. It was all very French  with everyone using  the bushes and trees along the course to relieve  themselves, women and  men alike.

The organisers put on a warm up which  was displayed on the huge  screens to all the participants, about 10  minutes before the off which  all the runners participated in  and  seemed to enjoy. 

The Metro radio DJ who was being  piped out was a jolly man who was  equally funny and sincere in his  broadcast. He had us in tears when he  asked everyone to spend a few  minutes remembering their loved ones and  why we were all  there representing different charities and then playing  “Abide with  me”. It was very moving!

Ant and Dec started the run and must have sore hands today.

They  started people  running by slapping the runners hands as they passed them  and wishing  them good luck with the sounds of “Let’s get ready to  rumble” in the  background.

And then 13 uphill miles to the  finish line to receive a finishers  medal. The support on the course was  fantastic! People were coming out  of their homes to give the runners  sweets and biscuits as well as moral  support of cheers, chants and  applause.  Well done all!

I was amazed at the finish line by  the number of runners wearing  silver ponchos who had the energy to be  walking around the town to get  to transport and eventually home.

A marvelous day! I look forward to next year!”


Primary School Places

I am currently supporting a parent trying to get her son a school place in the London Borough of Enfield. Mrs M has 2 children, J who has a place in Year 4 at a Primary School in LB Enfield and K who has not been offered a place at any school and has been out of education sice October 2009.

Mrs M is distraught that her son is not being educated and that there is no iminent prospect of K being offered any school place.

I have been speaking with LB Enfield and their legal obligation is to offer a place at a school in LB Enfield, not necessarily at the school that K’s brother is attending or even at a school close to where they live. It is Mrs M’s legal responsibility to ensure that K attends school.

Whilst trying to help in this problem I realise that it may not be in the family’s best interest to force LB Enfield into offering a place at any school due to the logistics of taking one child to a local school and then taking another child to the other side of the borough to another school which is clearly not sustainable.

Last week I spoke with the Council and found there are 2 primary schools which had a place and a very short waiting list in close proximity to Mrs M’s home. Mrs M has now put K on the waiting list of both schools. I will continue to contact the Council regularly to ascertain if more Year 1 places become available.

My thoughts – The Council are trying to fulfill their obligations to the best of their ability and in this case there would be no benefit to the family to force the Council to provide a place at any school for K. I do think that more can be done to maintain communication for example the Council phoning parents who don’t have a school place regularly (I would like to see it done daily).

The problem that Mrs M is facing is clearly affecting the moral of the whole family and there is a feeling of helplessness and desperation that they have endured for 7 months. I’m hoping that between us K gets into a school within the next few weeks and I will be phoning the Council daily to try and achieve this.

17 May 2010

As some of you may know if you have been following my blog, I have been trying to help Mrs M get her son K into a primary school. Today Mrs M was offered a school place for K at a primary school. Good news however the school is too far away from the school where her other child is going. If she takes one child to school then the other will be one hour late everyday and won’t be picked up on time. Mrs M is going to turn the place down with much regret. I have phoned the school where son J is, and K is either 1st or 2nd on the waiting list. I’ll be phoning again tomorrow.

6th July 2010

I am delighted that Mrs M’s son started his first day at school today in Year 1 after being out of school since October last year. Clearly there are not enough primary school places that there is no flexibility to allow 1 child into a class. Ideal class sizes are approximately 18 children however the schools in Enfield have 30 pupils per class and over subscribed. On a personal note I am so happy for Mrs M and her family.