Long-term solution required for primary school provision in central St Albans
Petition has closed and a response from the council has been published.
urgently address the severe lack of primary school places for children in central St Albans.
School allocations data for September 2016 showed that 63 children in St Albans did not get any of their four ranked choices and many have instead been offered a school which is miles from their homes (9 at Bowmansgreen, 12 at London Colney, 40 at Margaret Wix and 2 at Sandridge).
Under-provision in the central area is currently:
• Pulling our communities apart by sending a large number of children outside of their local area for schooling
• Making St Albans a less attractive location for families to bring up children
• Adding to the already congested rush hour traffic with associated environmental effects
• Making living in core commuter territory untenable for those with young families
This under-provision can only be exacerbated by the continuing building development in the area, most of which cannot be contested by our local councillors on the grounds of it being converted from office to residential property.
Specifically, there is a corridor around St Albans City station and to the immediate south where children had no chance of getting into their nearest school, St Peter’s.
While the council has since announced a bulge year at Maple school, we are extremely concerned that it will not resolve the issue. All it does is expand the Maple net into roads which are already very well served by good schools (2-3 catchments) and gives those families with a choice even more choice. The school places for these families will shuffle around between Alban City, Bernards Heath, Garden Fields and Maple, and those in the roads south of London Road and towards the station will remain at the bottom of the list due to distance and sibling criteria.
In the short term, we propose an additional bulge class to fulfil the specific demand for schools in this area.
In the long term are proposals are:
1. Permanent expansion of an existing local school to accommodate the children (both now and in the future) who are currently not served by any school.
2. Creation of a brand new school to support the growing local community.
This should be top of the agenda given Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent comments that new laws overhauling public services will give parents the legal right to choose the best school for their children.
We urge the council to re-evaluate the allocation of extra places for the long term benefit of all St Albans residents.
Saturday, 25 February 2017
Permanent Expansion for Reception Places in Central St Albans Facebook parent action group
This petition currently has 479 signatures in total.
This petition has been reviewed and the following response has been offered:
A meeting between the Executive Member for Highways, local County Councillor, Council officers and the lead petitioner is due to take place on 10 March 2017 to formerly receive the petition and also to hear from the lead petitioner about the issues raised within the petition.
These concerns have been considered and investigated by officers, and discussed with the local County Councillor. The County Council does not have any current plans within its works programme to implement any changes along B197 or to provide the measures suggested by the petition.
The speed limit outside both schools is 40mph, which is considered appropriate for the road. The County Council’s approach to the application of speed limits must be consistent if it is to be understood and complied with by the majority of drivers, as well as being consistent across the country. Therefore, the County Council’s approach to setting speed limits follows Department for Transport’s circular 01/2013, which is laid out in the County Council’s Speed Management Strategy
The B197 outside both Oaklands Primary School, Great North Road, and St. Michaels Primary School, Mardley Hill have not been considered for safety measures because neither road section has a poor injury collision history.
The County Council encourages schools to identify their road safety concerns through the formation of a School Travel Plan. Oaklands Primary School and St. Michaels Primary School have been invited to work with the County Council's Safe and Sustainable Journeys Team to each develop a School Travel Plan for their respective schools. The purpose of a School Travel Plan is to set out a package of measures and actions to reduce the number of car journeys on the school run and to increase the number of active and sustainable journeys, such as walking and cycling. Having a school travel plan has a number of benefits for the school and the local community. These include a reduction in local congestion, more active and healthy pupils and adults and an increase in road safety awareness. Plans are written by the school in consultation with its pupils, parents and staff and sets out a school's commitment to promoting safe (road safety), active and sustainable travel to and from school. The plans should be regularly reviewed and reflect current local travel and transport issues. The plans can also help local partners, such as highways, parking services and local planning authorities, to understand the school's transport and travel issues.
On a more positive note, Woolmer Green Parish Council has been working in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council implementing proposals to encourage lower vehicle speeds and improve pedestrian accessibility on B197 through Woolmer Green. Completed engineering measures included footway build-outs, road narrowing’s, road markings and signage. Before and after traffic speed data was captured and evidenced a general reduction in overall vehicle speeds and has improved the overall environment and provision for pedestrians. Ongoing monitoring will continue to confirm whether the scheme continues to improve road safety as desired.
In addition, the County Council has been made aware that the local County Councillor, on behalf of local organisations, has made a bid to Police and Crime Commissioner’s Road Safety Fund. It is understood the bid, if successful, would fund a traffic study along B197 from The Clock roundabout to Knebworth border, to identify where improvements could be made which address the concerns of the local community. The Police and Crime Commissioner will announce which bids have been successful through his web site:
|28/02/2017 13:47|| Deborah Jeffery ||Response Approved||Response Published
|28/02/2017 13:39|| Deborah Jeffery || ||Response Awaiting Approval
|22/02/2017 13:02|| Deborah Jeffery ||Response Published||Response Published
|22/02/2017 13:01|| Deborah Jeffery ||Response Approved||Response Published
|22/02/2017 12:59|| Deborah Jeffery || ||Response Awaiting Approval
|21/02/2017 16:35|| Deborah Jeffery ||Petition Updated: Responder Changed to Deborah Jeffery .Approver Changed to Deborah Jeffery ||Petition Active
|02/09/2016 00:49||(System Event)||Petition Closed (responder emailed requesting response)||Response Pending
|07/08/2016 21:26||Unregistered User||Petition Signed: Robert Benfield||Petition Active
|07/08/2016 21:23||Unregistered User||Petition Signed: Emma Benfield||Petition Active
|17/07/2016 08:23||Unregistered User||Petition Signed: Rob Wills||Petition Active