I have now talked to officers at both Wokingham and Reading about possible changes to the catchment area of Maiden Erlegh school which would exclude children from the Alfred Sutton school area.
First, let me say that the setup of schools as they are at the moment with Reading children going to Wokingham secondary schools dates back to when Berkshire county council looked after education. I think it's massively unfair for Wokingham Council to use its control of these schools to disadvantage Reading children who have as much right to go there. I will fight the corner of Reading parents and children.
I have set up a Facebook group called No to Maiden Erlegh Catchment Area Changes to bring people together to fight these changes. If you aren't on Facebook and want to be kept updated please get in contact.
I don't have a copy of the report yet -- as it hasn't been published -- but from my two conversations on the phone with officers from Reading and Wokingham it appears as though the recommendations in it are along the lines of:
-- Wokingham should change the catchment area of Maiden Erlegh secondary school to exclude Reading children from the Alfred Sutton school area.
-- These children will still be able to access places at Bulmershe School in Wokingham.
-- There will be sibling protection, so if a child already has an older brother or sister at Maiden Erlegh school then they will be able to get a place there to.
The timeline so far runs like this:
-- In January Wokingham started a review of secondary school admissions -- for 2012 -- following the closure of Ryeish Green.
-- They appointed an independent consultant -- Alan Parker. His report went to a review board with an independent chair.
-- Wokingham Council are about to publish the report and consult on its recommendations roughly from September to October -- they are planning to consult Reading parents too. There will be two consultation meetings, one on September 29 and one on October 6 -- venues haven't been agreed yet.
-- The results of this consultation will go to an admissions forum in November. The output of the admissions forum will then go to statutory consultation from December to February.
-- This will then go to Wokingham Council's executive in March -- for councillors to agree. There is one more opportunity to object. The policy will be in place by mid April.