Saturday, 23 January 2010

School places

As I mentioned yesterday I wanted to say a few words about this post on Brockley Central about school places in Lewisham.

For some time now there has been a real problem with school places in the borough. This goes right through from nursery places, primary and secondary school places.

BC highlights how more than one in four kids are being sent to school outside of the borough and I know from personal acquaintances that getting a nursery school place can be a real nightmare.

Personally I think it's really important for kids to be able to go to a school as near to their home as possible, which ideally means a network of smaller, community schools rather than some of the mega-schools that cater to children from miles around.

I'd add that this needs to be publicly owned and run, without the experiments of private companies 'delivering' maintenance and repairs for instance.

It's difficult, of course, in an area like Lewisham where new buildings are difficult to create when there's a lack of appropriate spaces and developing existing sites can be fraught with difficulties.

However, no matter how difficult or knotty the problem we need to address this because it really is not good enough that hundreds of kids are spending their entire school career travelling large distances going to schools that have little connection with their community.

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