Petition for a community school in Barkingside

A cross post from Matt on Barkingside21.

As B21 reported in the 9 o’clock news earlier this week there is currently a public competition underway to choose an organisation to run a new school on the site of the current Ilford Jewish Primary school.

The need for additional primary school places in Redbridge is well known and the requirement to conduct a competition originates from the Education Act 2006. This means that any suitable organisation can apply to run and maintain the school. The recent consultation showed a high degree of support, over 99%, for reopening a school on that site. It also showed overwhelming support, nearly 92%, for providing a Voluntary Aided faith based school.

However for a number of reasons we support the opening of a new Community School which would be run by the Local Authority and have set up a petition in support of this principle which can be signed on line here. We are supporting the creation of a new community school because:

1) The school will need to serve all of the diverse communities in Redbridge. We believe this can be best achieved by a school which is under the control of publicly elected and accountable politicians and Local Authority Officers. In this way all members of the community can have equal and transparent access to those who are ultimately responsible for the quality of the education provision and running of the school.

2) The cabinet report from 21 June 2010 sets out the very significant investment required to buy and develop the site. If the Local Authority is to invest circa £3m of tax payers money into this project we believe that it should remain a community asset which serves the whole community equally. We do not believe this is guaranteed if the school is run by a faith based or other organisation with special interests.

As the Local Authority has been granted permission to submit a proposal, the decision about who runs the school will now not be taken locally but by by the Schools Adjudicator. The competition closes on 13th December 2010 and so the petition will be open until then. We would like anyone who supports the establishment of a Community School to sign the petition so that your views can be represented in the decision making process.

And of course please pass it on to other contacts! New Community School for Barkingside Petition.