Thursday, 31 March 2011

Maiden Erlegh decision

I just got the following from the Parents' Campaign. Bad news! The 600 m rule that they have brought in smells to me like discrimination -- as it effectively stops people in Reading getting in. The challenge now is can we convince the coalition in Reading to get further legal advice and possibly take Wokingham to court:

WBC executive voted tonight. They voted for for the alternative tie-breaker with the amendment of a 600m catchment of the school (up to the Wokingham Road).

The detail is as below:

"For Maiden Erlegh School only, within criteria C and D, first priority will be given to applicants whose permanent home address is south of the centre line of the A329 and within 600m radius of Maiden Erlegh School, after which priority will be given to the applicants whose permanent home address is the greatest additional radial distance to the alternative designated area school (Bulmershe)."

So what does this mean? Well we have to look at the detail. But this is what we have understood.

(1) Those children who live closest to the school will get priority (ie those within 600m). NB this is not a circle - so won't include the north side of Wokingham road (and Mays Lane) - which was not in ME catchment previously.

(2) Then priority will be for those children who live furthest away from Bulmershe.

The consequences are:

- Children who live in Reading Borough will not get a place at Maiden Erlegh (unless they have siblings).

- Some Earley/WBC residents who live too close to Bulmershe but not close enough to Maiden Erlegh ie not within 600m may not get a place (Unless they have siblings).

As per rumours before the meeting, there was also talk of financial investment in Bulmershe. No figures were mentioned or committed to. But a report to come back to WBC in June.

Also much talk of the proposed new school for East Reading. Called here a UTC (University Technical College) in East Reading (just on "the borders between Reading and Earley. Age range of 11-19. Talked with reference of giving more choice for children in WBC too.

The changes to Wokingham school catchments - to go for one big one for all four schools on radial distance were also passed.

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