Monday 20 May 2013

Princess Frederica debates the pros and cons of expansion

The Brent Executive this evening approved the plans for school expansion with the new  lead member for children and families, Michael Pavey, challenging the view (which is also my view) that very large primary schools are not beneficial to small children. Quoting his experience as Chair of Governors of Wembley Primary (an 840 pupil school) he said that he thought large schools were not necessarily cold and impersonal and could offer a warm, caring environment.  He thought large schools were good for Brent. Wembley Primary had a complete rebuild in extensive grounds to accommodate four forms of entry. Schools which are expanded by adding extra buildings often lose play space as a result as well as the space being used by additional numbers of children. Often the school hall is too small to accommodate all the children in assemblies or performances.

Coincidentally plans to increase the size of Princess Frederica Voluntary Aided Primary School by one form of entry (210 children) has provoked debate. .In order to address some of the concerns raised the school governing body has posted information for parents on the school's website LINK

There are briefings and Q&As as well as this statement from the Chair of Governors:
As many of you will be aware, we dedicated the March meeting of the governing body to the school expansion proposal and invited in parents/ carers and the public to express their views. This is because the governing body takes very seriously its responsibility to make a decision about the proposal to expand the school and wants to ensure that everyone has a voice.

Brent Council asked the Governing Body to agree to open a statutory consultation on expanding the school at the meeting on 21 March. We decided we did not have enough information proceed with such a consultation.

During April and May representatives from the governing body and school met with the Brent school expansion team. We discussed the key issues about expansion, as outlined on this page. Following this meeting, Brent LA have produced a detailed report about what expansion of Princess Frederica might look like.  The governing body will be meeting on Thursday 23rd May, 2013 to discuss this matter and decide whether we now have enough information to agree to a statutory consultation. It is very important to note that if we have a ‘yes’ vote, we are still not obliged to proceed. As a governing body we are committed to ensuring that our questions are answered before we say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to expansion.

I would urge anyone with an interest – including those within the school, as well as neighbours – to make their views public on the website via the questions and comment function. Alternatively, you can email me at subject line: FAO Chair of Governors or drop a letter addressed to the governors into the office.

A Moss (Chair of Governors)

No comments: