04:20AM, Wednesday 30 July 2014
That was the call from the leader of the Royal Borough, Cllr David Burbage, at a cabinet meeting last night, who said the figures for home-grown students going on to study at the nation's top universities 'are not good enough'.
The decision was made at the meeting to launch a public consultation on the first phase of expanding secondary school places, covering 2017/18, including five options.
A shortfall of 221 spaces has been predicted by 2019 across secondary schools in Maidenhead and Ascot and upper and middle schools in Windsor.
The projection is based on birth data, movement of children between boroughs, and housing growth.
Cllr Phill Bicknell (Con, Park), cabinet member for children's services. said: "We are hoping this consultation will help towards combating a suspected shortfall of more than 200 school place.
"There are is array of options available on how we can expand our secondary education provision."
Cllr Burbage brought up the issue of 'disappointing' A-level results for Royal Borough-based students, who had an average grade of C- compared to Buckinghamshire at B- and Slough at C+.
He said: "We need to find a way of how we are going to use the necessity of expanding our secondary schools to improve our A-level results which are not our shiniest medal.
"Our Oxbridge and Russell Group university figures are not good enough and the expectation has been historically low. We need to change this."
Cllr Bicknell agreed the results were 'not good enough' but said the key to improving results was the council being in constant contact with headteachers.
He said: "You can't produce quality if you don't have the right spaces for students."
The cabinet agreed to press forward with the consultation, which will take place from September 8-October 20, with results reported back in December.
A report on a second phase of the programme covering 2018/19 will go before cabinet in September 2015.
The meeting took place at Maidenhead Town Hall.
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