‘JUBILEE PARK’ PRIMARY SCHOOL – My response on behalf of neighbours.
With our community colleagues and developers, I have been working on delivering our new school for some years and I’m pleased that by working together for the good of Rogerstone, we have managed to get the school built ahead of schedule.
However, I have some questions –
- Critical path consultation– The formal consultation that is required to take place to agree to the construction and opening of a new school is a minimum of 42 days including 20 school days or 4 school weeks.
The Autumn term finishes for schools in Newport on 16th December. If the Council is going to move for formal consultation, this needs to be completed before the end of the current school term.
When is the Council planning to both implement and feedback the consultation?
- Recruitment– To appoint the best staff possible for the school, the process needs to start immediately the consultation has finished, unless staff have already been identified (or appointed), which would not be conducive to a fair appointment process.
Bearing in mind that teachers are required (by The Burgundy Book – Conditions of Service for Teachers in England and Wales) to submit resignations from current jobs at defined periods throughout the school year. The requirements for Headteachers re resignations is different to that of other teaching staff. These are, to leave at the end of the Autumn term (31st December), teachers must resign by 31st October, Headteachers by 30 September; to leave at the end of the Spring term (30th April), teachers must resign by 28th (29th) February, Headteachers by 31 January; to leave at the end of the Summer term (31st August), teachers must resign by 31st May, Headteachers by 30 April.
You will see that there are different dates for Headteachers. Obviously, we want the best possible candidate to lead ‘Jubilee Park’, to ensure that the school will be a fantastic place for learning, social interaction, a community hub and a place of safety and tranquillity for all who attend and use its facilities.
How will you ensure that this process is completed in due course, enabling a newly appointed Headteacher to (a) resign from their current post and then (b) to have the time to appoint their key staff, develop their school facilities and internal spaces, policies and, critically, the curriculum and learning experiences that the children will receive and participate in, bearing in mind that the school is planned to open in September 2017?
- Class sizes– I do not think that 15 is large enough. I understand that there are already more than 15 children of Reception age living in Jubilee Park.
Are the numbers (30) rigidly fixed for each of the four classes planned in the first year (before it goes to seven (7) classes in the second year)? How would you reassure the parents of Jubilee Park that they will not miss out on a place for their child?
- Catchment area– the report refers to a growing school for a growing community: how can we guarantee this?
Can you 100% promise, to the neighbours on Jubilee Park, that they will get these places?
When you refer to community which are you referring to – Jubilee Park, Rogerstone or Newport West (the catchment area boundary)?
Let me give you a scenario. A family lives in Tregwillym Road (Old Rogerstone) – their children are of primary age – that they are not able to go to Jubilee Park and have been refused a place at the other 3 local Rogerstone schools. They have been offered places at the Gaer and Bettws Schools, which are within the current Council catchment area of Newport West. How would you justify this very real scenario?