I joined concerned parents and grandparents outside the Civic Offices in Sutton this morning who are protesting against changes to the admissions to Cheam Park Farm Junior School. Eliza Philippidis (pictured), one of our excellent Stonecot ward candidates for the local elections on May 6th showed her support as well holding one of the many signs designed by the children.
Philippa Stroud and the local MP have worked with parents on a cross-party basis seeking to get the school to reverse their decision to reduce their intake to 90 from 105. The junior school works closely with Cheam Park Farm Infant School but the reduction in numbers means that children now in the infant school are not guaranteed a place and with massive pressure on school places, they may need to travel some distance to get to school in the future.
I am glad to say that the pressure opened a small chink of hope. We went into the Schools Admission Forum which had this as a topic of discussion. The Forum is only an advisory body as the school, as a foundation school, is in charge of its own admissions.The Chair of Governors told the Forum that she was calling an extraordinary meeting of the governors to consider taking in all children from the infant school who wanted a place, at least for this year. Hopefully they will see sense and go back to the higher number permanently. Smaller class sizes are all very well but if your child can’t get into that school, they are not much good to you.