New developments need new schools
Throughout the county we are seeing planning permission being granted for major housing projects totalling thousands of homes.
Now we are told there will be less red tape to ensure their progress.
The plans presented by the developers show pastel shaded spaces where "school" is marked, for the community to be assured that services will be in place.
The assumption is that, as always, schools will be built while, or soon after, houses are built.
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Times have changed.
Local authorities, under current legislation, no longer have a duty or funding to build schools, while the Department for Education will only fund free schools. New-build projects do not have a resident community with the momentum to drive a free school project.
Buying a newly-built house may entail asking where the school is and the general assumption is that schools will be accessible and not full.
Who, then, will be building these schools?
There are consortiums with an interest, not entirely altruistic, which may choose to invest in the building but with an interest written into the running of the school.
The educational imperative that parents assume drives all schools needs to lead rather than follow the building of these schools.
So who is to lead/drive the building of a school in this brave new world?
While adjoining area schools as partners would certainly be a support mechanism, they are funded and structured to support and develop their own pupil needs and not as managers to raise funds of new major building projects.
We have primary schools struggling to accommodate their local population and therefore do not have spare capacity to accommodate more new residents.
Forward planning of schools relating to new housing needs to be planned and driven and not to become a lame reaction to schools being overcrowded offering inadequate learning environments.
Grace Fox, Leicester Forest East.