Parents and Sherwood MP Mark Spencer say that the county’s education chiefs have reacted too slowly to the growing schools’ crisis.
As news of Nottinghamshire County Council’s defence to last week’s Dispatch front page was to announce plans to bring forward the building of another new school in the town, the authority was still coming under fire from all corners.
“It’s simply too little too late,” said mum of five Claire Chamberlain, of Levertons Place, whose two youngest children are expected to go to two different schools, one in Bestwood Village. “It’s great that they have now decided to build the new school sooner at Rolls-Royce but it doesn’t help my family now and others who are in a similar situation.”
These thoughts were echoed by mum of three, Kirsty Robinson, of Knoll Avenue.
Her eldest is at Hillside where an application for her four year-old was refused and given a place at Annie Holgate.
“Why can’t they see common sense?” asked Kirsty. “Having to get two children to two different schools is going to cause havoc and the children will suffer. And I worry about what will happen when my youngest needs a place.”
Rachel Bailey is another parent whose children will be attending different schools in September and says the response by the council is simply a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction.
“The council are not the heroes in this,” said Rachel of Vedonis Park. “This won’t solve problems in the short term and what about the effects these new primaryschools will have on the secondary school places in the future?
“They need to stop building houses and instead listen to what the people who are already living here now need.”
Mark Spencer said it is a predicted situation that he takes no pleasure in saying I told you so after raising concerns in 2012 after being contacted by a constituent.
But in a letter in response to his query at the time, by corporate director for children, families and cultural services, Anthony May, the MP was told that the authority was doing what was necessary.
“I hope this provides reassurance that the council is working hard to ensure that there are, and will continue to be, sufficient school places available across the town.”
But Mr Spencer said this week that if the authority had done enough in the past as they claimed, there wouldn’t be a problem now.
“It’s not like this situation has sneaked up on us all,” said Mr Spencer this week who claimed the council is now playing catch up but it’s too late for the families this year.
“More schools need to be built before any more houses but Gedling and Ashfield keep trying to dump more on us. It is very frustrating.”
For a full response to the Dispatch questions put to Nottinghamshire County Council click here