11:45AM, Thursday 28 July 2016
The £30 million plans for school places was the Advertiser front page on 21 July. This is excellent news but reading on, some council members expressed concern that taxpayers’ money was being spent on academy schools, over which the borough has no control.
It is difficult to understand this concern, when it is the government’s aim that all schools should become academies.
Until the recent ‘U’ turn, the government was planning to make it compulsory for all schools to become academies. Many schools in the RBWM have converted to academies. They include: Altwood, Charters, Cox Green, Desborough, Furze Platt, Newlands, Windsor Girls’, Windsor Boys’ and others. The paramount reason that these schools converted to academies was for the benefit of their students.
On the same page last week, another heading reads ‘Working towards grammar'. The council said it would ‘continue to work with Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School to assist in the opening a satellite grammar school in the Royal Borough.
Council leader Simon Dudley said grammar schools are very popular with local parents and the council is pro parental choice.
I would dispute Cllr Dudley’s claim regarding the popularity of a grammar school with parents. Over the last two years there have been many letters in the Advertiser supporting our excellent comprehensive schools and opposing a grammar school in the RBWM. The only letters supporting a grammar school have been from council members.
Parents understand that if a grammar school is opened in the RBWM they cannot choose to send their daughter or son to that school. The selection is by examination and will only be available to a small percentage of students.
Parents recognise we have excellent comprehensive schools and that all available money should be directed to these schools to make them even better.
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