by awitherick on 4 May, 2011
On the 14 February 2011 the Tory run County Council Cabinet finally agreed to the purchase of the current University of Hertfordshire building on Hatfield Road in order to accommodate a new school in St Albans city centre. Sadly this action came too late for the government to consider it seriously so that it could be opened this year.
Liberal Democrat County Councillor Allan Witherick said:
“It’s extremely frustrating that we’ve reached this situation, with local schools having to be expanded and young children being forced to cross the city to get to school. We’ve told the Conservatives year on year that this was a worsening issue, and they refused to listen.
How did we know this? Partly because we take the time to knock on individual doors and speak to people so were aware of how many young children there are in the area.”
Because of the need to create new schools as “Free Schools” a local group has been established towards this. The group is headed by Linda Crawley, a retired headteacher of an outstanding central St Albans Primary School and also includes other local parents and educationalists. The group propose to open a two form entry primary school using the Hertfordshire County Council admission criteria to ensure that the school serves the local community.
All Free school proposals have to be approved by the Department for Education, and the window to submit proposals for a September 2012 opening is between 16 May and 1 June. As such the group is now actively promoting itself within the local community via websites, posters and a leaflet.
If you want to learn more about the proposed school, you can visit this website www.albancityschool.org.uk.
There is also an online survey for pre-school age parents to show their support for the proposal, which is hosted on the Hertfordshire County Council website.
There is also a separate proposal from the Albany Montessori group, who are also looking to set up a school in St Albans.