Second School for Kingsway – Optomistic?

An article on ‘This is Gloucestershire’ has appeared today from the County Council stating that School 2 in Kingsway will be in place by 2013.  This school is urgently needed because there is already a lack of School places within Kingsway and Quedgeley, so much so that local schools are having to take more pupils than the recommended 30 per class, however, are we being set up for dissapoinment?

The school is part of a Section 106 agreement, which means its to be built by the developers and while I’m sure they would not shirk that responsibility, I do believe however that house sales have almost dried up at the moment (hence why the Community Centre is delayed) and so I think they would have difficulty in meeting the 2013 timescale.

That is why I think it is bold of the council to raise hopes like this, only to state later in the article “The county council is, therefore, informing the developer of the need to start the construction process for a second, smaller, primary school that would accommodate 30 children in Reception.”  So in reality, we are not going to get a school in 2013.  They have not even asked the developers yet.  I like the tone of  saying they will “inform”, making them sound like that QUVL will just jump, but from experience, QUVL can “inform” them right back about what is actually possible.

So, while its great news, I think it’s really irresponsible of the Council to raise hopes like this without any sort of proper basis for dates and the like.

Jackie Halls comment is absolutely right in terms of capacity, though I think we should be asking if a smaller school is the right thing, or if we should be looking at something bigger given the speed that Kingsway School has filled up.

Vic Rice’s comment is really a comment for the sake of commenting, it just shows how little he actually knows about Kingsway.  He has started to come to more meetings but in my opinion, his attitude towards Kingsway residents isn’t exactly encouraging.   I guess this will change the closer we get to County Council elections.

So, 2013……… anyone care to enter a sweepstake on just how late from the promise?

This is the article (just in case it disappears):

Kingsway will have another primary school in September 2013, helping to meet increasing demand for school places in the area.

Gloucestershire County Council is this week informing developers Quedgeley Urban Village Ltd of the need to begin construction of the second primary school for Kingsway. The developer will fund the school.

As part of the planning considerations for the Kingsway development, the county council negotiated with the developer to provide two school sites under a section 106 agreement.

The first school is near the middle of the new housing to meet demand from the first building phases. Another site is to the south, to be ready for a new school to meet the needs of the latter stages of the development.

The first school provided by the developer opened in September 2008. It started with four classes and a planned phased expansion will see it provide 14 classes by September 2012, to accommodate 420 pupils in total.

With construction continuing, estimates from the developer suggest that there could be 500 primary aged children living in the area by 2013. The first school would not be able to accommodate all those needing a place.

The county council is, therefore, informing the developer of the need to start the construction process for a second, smaller, primary school that would accommodate 30 children in Reception.

A new children’s centre for the area, The Beacon, opened in January 2011, providing much needed facilities and services for families with children under five.

Cllr Jackie Hall, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills and county councillor for Quedgeley, said: “Kingsway Primary School is a popular school. Pupil numbers are growing and with further development planned, it is vital that we add more capacity in the area.

“The second school will be on a different part of the development and will allow us to increase the number of primary school places available to meet future demand. With the new children’s centre we have recently opened in the area, the infrastructure will be in place for families to access the services they need in Kingsway.”

Cllr Vic Rice, county councillor for Quedgeley, said: “The current Kingsway School offers a strong learning and teaching environment and its pupils are thriving. The much-needed new school will be on a smaller scale but promises the same quality opportunities for children in the Kingsway area. It will be a welcome addition to the facilities in this growing development.”

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One Comment so far:

  1. James says:

    Yes, another large or “super primary” school is optimistic although the Council must think long term and consider lead times for planning and procurement.

    I think Kingsway might benefit from a more progressive and mixed offering. Two smaller primaries including one that is faith based may attract children from a wider area and give people living in Kingsway and ‘South Gloucester’ more choice.

    This may be more realistic, however, the biggest obstacle is money. Smaller schools with good teacher/pupil ratios are undoubtedly better for children, but not so effective from a short term tax payer perspective, which is the lens that most politicians and voters look through.

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