Divided opinions over city school expansion plans

First published in News by

School expansion plans are the focus of a fierce debate, with opponents claiming children will be crammed into a playground “like livestock”.

Brighton and Hove City Council wants to expand both Stanford Infants in Highcroft Villas, Brighton, and Aldrington CE Primary in Eridge Road, Hove, by one form of 30 children for every year group.

It claims the move, which would be introduced from September, is necessary to cope with a rising number of children in the west and south of the city.

A petition of 500 signatures is supporting the expansion of Stanford Infants.

However, 800 parents and locals have opposed the plans claiming it will lead to the school becoming overcrowded.

They claim the consultation has been rushed and worry what will happen to pupils when they are supposed to leave for junior school.

Heather Tomlinson, the council’s director of children’s services, said: “It is felt that without an expansion parents who have very young children not yet at the school may have to travel some considerable distance across the city to access a school place.”

But parent Sophie Lewis, of Chanctonbury Road, Hove, said: “It’s a very small school – anyone can see that when they visit the site.

“You would not be able to get livestock in the playground.

‘Overcrowded’ “I believe if they have an extra 90 children in there, it would be the most overcrowded school in the country in terms of outside space.”

A consultation on the plans was launched in October.

Opinion is split on the plans for Aldrington CE Primary with a slight majority of the 27 responses supporting it.

However, of 192 responses to the Stanford plan, 162 were against. The governors are also against it claiming the consultation has been rushed.

Conservative councillor Andrew Wealls said: “The Green administration has left us very little choice whilst it has refused to engage with the government to access new free schools for the city which would have taken some of the pressure off schools like this one. “This is seat-of-the-pants management of the crisis in school places for our children.”

Labour councillor Anne Pissaridou asked where funding for the expansion was coming from, adding: “This chaotic approach to consultation will simply lead to more uncertainty for parents when their children are ready to move on and backs the junior school into a corner over agreeing to expansion.”

A decision is due to be made at the council’s children and young people committee on Monday at Hove Town Hall at 4pm.

Comments (31)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:55pm Sun 13 Jan 13

7dialsresident says...

What is the point of this consultation when the council simply ignores the overwhelming response against expansion? It"s time they listened to the communities they serve.
What is the point of this consultation when the council simply ignores the overwhelming response against expansion? It"s time they listened to the communities they serve. 7dialsresident
  • Score: 0

7:24pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Concerned resident 01 says...

The school is already large by UK standards, with 270 children. This expansion makes no sense.

With split lunch times, my children never have time to finish their lunch. I cannot envisage how you will fit another 90 children into the school routines.

It will certainly diminish a good school. Why damage what's good? We should recreate this elsewhere, not erode an outstanding school by taking it beyond its physical and organisation capacity.
The school is already large by UK standards, with 270 children. This expansion makes no sense. With split lunch times, my children never have time to finish their lunch. I cannot envisage how you will fit another 90 children into the school routines. It will certainly diminish a good school. Why damage what's good? We should recreate this elsewhere, not erode an outstanding school by taking it beyond its physical and organisation capacity. Concerned resident 01
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Herringbone says...

The playground and hall are tiny. Too small for another 90 children. Most parents at the school, the governors and the head are all opposed to the expansion - they're the ones who know the school best and understand what it can and cannot cope with. They should be listened to. Don't destroy this wonderful school.
The playground and hall are tiny. Too small for another 90 children. Most parents at the school, the governors and the head are all opposed to the expansion - they're the ones who know the school best and understand what it can and cannot cope with. They should be listened to. Don't destroy this wonderful school. Herringbone
  • Score: 0

8:30pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Carved up of Port Hall says...

Let's hope that the committee members considering this proposal tomorrow vote against this nonsensical change.

It's not an expansion, it's a contraction; cramming more kids onto an inadequate site.

The Infant school has no green space and precious little playground area.

No one is convinced that shoe-horning in 90 more children is viable.

The council has not provided transparent information and is rushing a decision through with unseemly haste; it's possible that families have applied to start school in September, blissfully unaware that they might be condemning their kids to spending their entire primary education on a building site.

The consultation is not linked to expansion at the linked Junior school. It is inconceivable that this school will manage to accommodate the requisite 128 extra pupils (that's 218 more children being pushed into the area with all the implications that will have on a densely-populated residential area).

It has limited outdoor space (the children have to be marched to Benedict field for PE), cramped stairwells and narrow corridors. Lunch is already split and the whole school community struggles to meet in one space. It's impossible to build on the playgrounds because air raid shelters below ground have weakened the area so vehicles cannot be driven on them, let alone buildings squeezed
in.

If the Juniors is not dealt with at the same time and a coherent expansion plan agreed upon - then Stanford will suffer the same fate as Balfour did; an unsightly scrum for too few junior places when year two children transfer. Can we not learn any lessons?

The council's inaction for over a decade has got us into this mess. It's their job to sort it out. It's our job, it would appear, to protect communities throughout the city from half-baked ideas, shoddy, tick-box consultations, criminally poor planning and decisions that endanger any last remaining examples of good practice in education to be found in the city. Let's hope that committee members agree that those things are worth fighting for. And they can get cross-party agreement on expanding schools that can accommodate more children and - here's an idea - whatever the ideological, physical and financial challenges - building more schools for a city with an exploding population so that families can access a decent, local school.
Let's hope that the committee members considering this proposal tomorrow vote against this nonsensical change. It's not an expansion, it's a contraction; cramming more kids onto an inadequate site. The Infant school has no green space and precious little playground area. No one is convinced that shoe-horning in 90 more children is viable. The council has not provided transparent information and is rushing a decision through with unseemly haste; it's possible that families have applied to start school in September, blissfully unaware that they might be condemning their kids to spending their entire primary education on a building site. The consultation is not linked to expansion at the linked Junior school. It is inconceivable that this school will manage to accommodate the requisite 128 extra pupils (that's 218 more children being pushed into the area with all the implications that will have on a densely-populated residential area). It has limited outdoor space (the children have to be marched to Benedict field for PE), cramped stairwells and narrow corridors. Lunch is already split and the whole school community struggles to meet in one space. It's impossible to build on the playgrounds because air raid shelters below ground have weakened the area so vehicles cannot be driven on them, let alone buildings squeezed in. If the Juniors is not dealt with at the same time and a coherent expansion plan agreed upon - then Stanford will suffer the same fate as Balfour did; an unsightly scrum for too few junior places when year two children transfer. Can we not learn any lessons? The council's inaction for over a decade has got us into this mess. It's their job to sort it out. It's our job, it would appear, to protect communities throughout the city from half-baked ideas, shoddy, tick-box consultations, criminally poor planning and decisions that endanger any last remaining examples of good practice in education to be found in the city. Let's hope that committee members agree that those things are worth fighting for. And they can get cross-party agreement on expanding schools that can accommodate more children and - here's an idea - whatever the ideological, physical and financial challenges - building more schools for a city with an exploding population so that families can access a decent, local school. Carved up of Port Hall
  • Score: 0

8:38pm Sun 13 Jan 13

J.Long says...

The council must give all parents a 100% assurance beforehand, that both of these schools are completely free of any existing asbestos in their fabric which once disturbed may prove very harmful and difficult to eradicate, especially as construction may be carried out during term time. Furthermore the council must give all of the parents a 100% containment guarantee and assume total liability with regard to the specification of any harmful materials, vapours or aerosols that may be found to have escaped either during construction or leeched out afterwards, during the building maturing phase. All children will have to be carefully monitored for any signs of the onset of allergies or asthmatic conditions.
Can the council guarantee that the children will not be subject to greater risk of catching a greater number of communicable illnesses or diseases because of increased occupation densities. How will discipline and core values be affected if staff are put under greater time constraints.
The council must give all parents a 100% assurance beforehand, that both of these schools are completely free of any existing asbestos in their fabric which once disturbed may prove very harmful and difficult to eradicate, especially as construction may be carried out during term time. Furthermore the council must give all of the parents a 100% containment guarantee and assume total liability with regard to the specification of any harmful materials, vapours or aerosols that may be found to have escaped either during construction or leeched out afterwards, during the building maturing phase. All children will have to be carefully monitored for any signs of the onset of allergies or asthmatic conditions. Can the council guarantee that the children will not be subject to greater risk of catching a greater number of communicable illnesses or diseases because of increased occupation densities. How will discipline and core values be affected if staff are put under greater time constraints. J.Long
  • Score: 0

8:58pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Coventry Street Resident says...

Yes there is a shortage of school places, but is an expansion of Stanford Infant School the answer? No!

There are so many reasons why this expansion proposal is ill-conceived: with no plans to purchase additional land it is surely a contraction rather than an expansion!

Have any of those involved in the decision-making process actually observed what happens at the start or the end of the school day? Parents struggle to simply get into the school via exceptionally small and narrow entrances - how will these support an extra 90 families? The roads around the school entrances are already hazardous at these times - what will the extra volume of traffic bring?

The hall space can just about accommodate existing pupils; lunches, which are already staggered will need to stretch out even further across the school day. Whole-school events will no longer be possible - this will impact the very learning environment that the school has so carefully nurtured over the years. Kids thrive in environments where they feel recognised, safe and supported - cramming an extra 90 kids in will not do anything for the welfare of the children- either existing ones or future ones.

When do plans to expand stop? At what point does the council address the problem in a sustainable way that provides local school places for all the cities children of school age? How can expanding an Infant school without plans to expand the linked Junior school work?

Presumably the problem of an expanding population of school-age children in this city will not go away....so what will the council do in years to come? This problem must have been known about for a long time - why are we even thinking about this 'sticking-plaster' solution?

Come on Councillors, please see the bigger picture and implement a sustainable and long term plan for the sake of ALL our children.
Yes there is a shortage of school places, but is an expansion of Stanford Infant School the answer? No! There are so many reasons why this expansion proposal is ill-conceived: with no plans to purchase additional land it is surely a contraction rather than an expansion! Have any of those involved in the decision-making process actually observed what happens at the start or the end of the school day? Parents struggle to simply get into the school via exceptionally small and narrow entrances - how will these support an extra 90 families? The roads around the school entrances are already hazardous at these times - what will the extra volume of traffic bring? The hall space can just about accommodate existing pupils; lunches, which are already staggered will need to stretch out even further across the school day. Whole-school events will no longer be possible - this will impact the very learning environment that the school has so carefully nurtured over the years. Kids thrive in environments where they feel recognised, safe and supported - cramming an extra 90 kids in will not do anything for the welfare of the children- either existing ones or future ones. When do plans to expand stop? At what point does the council address the problem in a sustainable way that provides local school places for all the cities children of school age? How can expanding an Infant school without plans to expand the linked Junior school work? Presumably the problem of an expanding population of school-age children in this city will not go away....so what will the council do in years to come? This problem must have been known about for a long time - why are we even thinking about this 'sticking-plaster' solution? Come on Councillors, please see the bigger picture and implement a sustainable and long term plan for the sake of ALL our children. Coventry Street Resident
  • Score: 0

9:16pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Highdown Resident says...

Stanford Infants has one of the smallest sites in our city, with the least outside space.

I have spoken to my children about the plans to "expand" the school, and they were surprised that any more children could be fitted into their school, as they both already feel that there are too many children.

They said that there would be even less time for lunch and even busier playtimes.

Most of the children attending have very small gardens and need playgrounds at school. The lack of funding available to build on top of the existing school would result in porta cabins for many years in the school playgrounds.

Nationwide, only approx 6% of infant schools are three form entry. If Stanford became a four form entry, it would be notorious for being the most densely crowded infant school in the country. Is that an achievement to aspire to?

The side entry is already congested. The potential of 90 more children entering school through these entrances with siblings in buggies would be horrendous.

The lack of effort on the part of the council to inform local residents of their proposal is astounding, as is their failure to work to overcome obstacles with another local school in the same area who is already keen to expand.

If the council focused their efforts on achieving this alternative local expansion, everyone would be satisfied.

Bottom line: Governors, Staff and Parents are against the current proposal. The Council need to listen and find alternative solutions.
Stanford Infants has one of the smallest sites in our city, with the least outside space. I have spoken to my children about the plans to "expand" the school, and they were surprised that any more children could be fitted into their school, as they both already feel that there are too many children. They said that there would be even less time for lunch and even busier playtimes. Most of the children attending have very small gardens and need playgrounds at school. The lack of funding available to build on top of the existing school would result in porta cabins for many years in the school playgrounds. Nationwide, only approx 6% of infant schools are three form entry. If Stanford became a four form entry, it would be notorious for being the most densely crowded infant school in the country. Is that an achievement to aspire to? The side entry is already congested. The potential of 90 more children entering school through these entrances with siblings in buggies would be horrendous. The lack of effort on the part of the council to inform local residents of their proposal is astounding, as is their failure to work to overcome obstacles with another local school in the same area who is already keen to expand. If the council focused their efforts on achieving this alternative local expansion, everyone would be satisfied. Bottom line: Governors, Staff and Parents are against the current proposal. The Council need to listen and find alternative solutions. Highdown Resident
  • Score: 0

9:33pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Prestonville resident says...

I totally agree with the comments above against the expansion of Stanford Infant School. The article states that 162 out of 192 of the responses to the Stanford plan submitted during the consultation process are opposed to the expansion. That's a staggering 84% of responses! Surely this cannot be ignored. Furthermore, I don't believe that there is any transparency for prospective parents. At this stage they do not know if they have applied to an excellent 3 form entry school, or a struggling-under-the
-strain 4 form entry school.
I totally agree with the comments above against the expansion of Stanford Infant School. The article states that 162 out of 192 of the responses to the Stanford plan submitted during the consultation process are opposed to the expansion. That's a staggering 84% of responses! Surely this cannot be ignored. Furthermore, I don't believe that there is any transparency for prospective parents. At this stage they do not know if they have applied to an excellent 3 form entry school, or a struggling-under-the -strain 4 form entry school. Prestonville resident
  • Score: 0

10:46pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Stanford parent99 says...

If the council decides to go ahead with this expansion tomorrow it means that they had no intension of listening to the results of the consultation and they are planning to bulldoze ahead irrespective of what the school or the community wants.
Anyone who has taken the time to actually study this school, will see that squeezing 90 more children into a school already bursting at the seams is not the answer. The answer is a new school, the council has known this for a long time now but has chosen to do nothing about it.

Here's hoping they may the right decision tomorrow.
If the council decides to go ahead with this expansion tomorrow it means that they had no intension of listening to the results of the consultation and they are planning to bulldoze ahead irrespective of what the school or the community wants. Anyone who has taken the time to actually study this school, will see that squeezing 90 more children into a school already bursting at the seams is not the answer. The answer is a new school, the council has known this for a long time now but has chosen to do nothing about it. Here's hoping they may the right decision tomorrow. Stanford parent99
  • Score: 0

10:52pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Port hall resident says...

In what way does overcrowding an already very small school have the best interests of the children on roll and those due to join?

My son found the start of school at Stanford incredibly daunting because the playground is already so crowded. Within the first week or two of attending the school he came home with notes saying he had experienced head collisions with other pupils because there is such a lack of space for them to move around in. How can playground staff possibly cope with the health and safety of these young children if you add in another 90 pupils? In addition, there may be areas that are cordoned off for the building work to take place, leaving even less space to play. What effect does this overcrowding have on the social and physical well being of the child? If you stagger play time and lunches to cope with the lack of space you deny children the opportunity from learning from each other, as they won’t experience time with other year groups.

The consultation is not linked to an expansion at the Junior school. I cannot see how the Junior school will manage to accommodate an extra 218 pupils and therefore it seems likely that only some of the current children from the Infant school will be able to attend the Junior school which will have many very negative effects.

I understand the need for local school places but this rushed, ill-conceived plan is not the answer. The council needs to find a sustainable way of providing school places for years to come – you cannot just simply keep expanding every school in the city.

Please listen to the parents, staff, governors and the local community and say NO to the expansion.
In what way does overcrowding an already very small school have the best interests of the children on roll and those due to join? My son found the start of school at Stanford incredibly daunting because the playground is already so crowded. Within the first week or two of attending the school he came home with notes saying he had experienced head collisions with other pupils because there is such a lack of space for them to move around in. How can playground staff possibly cope with the health and safety of these young children if you add in another 90 pupils? In addition, there may be areas that are cordoned off for the building work to take place, leaving even less space to play. What effect does this overcrowding have on the social and physical well being of the child? If you stagger play time and lunches to cope with the lack of space you deny children the opportunity from learning from each other, as they won’t experience time with other year groups. The consultation is not linked to an expansion at the Junior school. I cannot see how the Junior school will manage to accommodate an extra 218 pupils and therefore it seems likely that only some of the current children from the Infant school will be able to attend the Junior school which will have many very negative effects. I understand the need for local school places but this rushed, ill-conceived plan is not the answer. The council needs to find a sustainable way of providing school places for years to come – you cannot just simply keep expanding every school in the city. Please listen to the parents, staff, governors and the local community and say NO to the expansion. Port hall resident
  • Score: 0

11:04pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Stanford mum says...

The school simply doesn't have the space; the communal areas are barely large enough for the pupils as it is.
Porta cabins, even more limited outdoor space, limited lunchtime sittings, severely compromised access for pick ups and drop offs.... this will risk ruining an excellent school.
And then there's the huge problem of what happens when these extra pupils need to go to junior school. So short sighted.
Of course the city needs more school places, no-one is disputing that, but running a great school is not the answer.
The school simply doesn't have the space; the communal areas are barely large enough for the pupils as it is. Porta cabins, even more limited outdoor space, limited lunchtime sittings, severely compromised access for pick ups and drop offs.... this will risk ruining an excellent school. And then there's the huge problem of what happens when these extra pupils need to go to junior school. So short sighted. Of course the city needs more school places, no-one is disputing that, but running a great school is not the answer. Stanford mum
  • Score: 0

11:07pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Stanford mum says...

That should read "ruining a great school" (see previous comment)
That should read "ruining a great school" (see previous comment) Stanford mum
  • Score: 0

11:09pm Sun 13 Jan 13

Stanford mum says...

The school simply doesn't have the space; the communal areas are barely large enough for the pupils as it is.
Porta cabins, even more limited outdoor space, limited lunchtime sittings, severely compromised access for pick ups and drop offs.... this will risk ruining an excellent school.
And then there's the huge problem of what happens when these extra pupils need to go to junior school. So short sighted.
Of course the city needs more school places, no-one is disputing that, but ruining a great school is not the answer.
The school simply doesn't have the space; the communal areas are barely large enough for the pupils as it is. Porta cabins, even more limited outdoor space, limited lunchtime sittings, severely compromised access for pick ups and drop offs.... this will risk ruining an excellent school. And then there's the huge problem of what happens when these extra pupils need to go to junior school. So short sighted. Of course the city needs more school places, no-one is disputing that, but ruining a great school is not the answer. Stanford mum
  • Score: 0

12:18am Mon 14 Jan 13

A Port Hall Resident says...

The term "expansion" is deceptive. The Green Party Council wants to cram more kids into a tiny space without demonstrating how this can be achieved without negatively, impacting children, staff and education.

This proposal was conceived by bureaucrats without the input of school professionals or support of a feasibility study or plan to demonstrate its viability. The community and schools are being asked to comment on virtually no information or ideas. Is this professional?

I question whether the bureaucrats in charge have spent much time at the schools. There is barely enough room to play, exercise or even hang coats. In the Junior school, classes have to enter the building one at a time because there is not enough room to to pass.

The consultation process has been a superficial and disorganised exercise. Elected Green Party members didn't bother showing up for the public meeting and a wrong address was provided for submitting comments to the Council (unless the Council has moved to Shoreham).

I used to support the Green Party, but from what I have seen, they lack vision, organisation and sincere concern for children and community.

This is the most ill-conceived and worst possible option for this important problem and I expected more from this Party.
The term "expansion" is deceptive. The Green Party Council wants to cram more kids into a tiny space without demonstrating how this can be achieved without negatively, impacting children, staff and education. This proposal was conceived by bureaucrats without the input of school professionals or support of a feasibility study or plan to demonstrate its viability. The community and schools are being asked to comment on virtually no information or ideas. Is this professional? I question whether the bureaucrats in charge have spent much time at the schools. There is barely enough room to play, exercise or even hang coats. In the Junior school, classes have to enter the building one at a time because there is not enough room to to pass. The consultation process has been a superficial and disorganised exercise. Elected Green Party members didn't bother showing up for the public meeting and a wrong address was provided for submitting comments to the Council (unless the Council has moved to Shoreham). I used to support the Green Party, but from what I have seen, they lack vision, organisation and sincere concern for children and community. This is the most ill-conceived and worst possible option for this important problem and I expected more from this Party. A Port Hall Resident
  • Score: 0

7:27am Mon 14 Jan 13

Frustrated parent says...

The council has known for a least 10 years that there is an on-going problem with school admissions. Parents between 7 dials and central hove have struggled to find places locally and have often been offered places on the other side of the city. Last year they had to open a "bulge" class at davingdor at the last minute making the intake 150. Every time they expand davingdor the catchment goes down! It is council policy to expand good schools not build new ones. This policy is wrong. They have reached capacity in terms of expansion unless they want to ruin the existing schools. Face facts councillors you need to build a new school and you should have already started. Even if you do ruin and expand Stanford you will still need to build a newl 3 form primary (and let's not forget the poor Connaught kids who still don't have a junior school) the councils planning for school places has been totally inadequate I am surprised there has not been more local action.
The council has known for a least 10 years that there is an on-going problem with school admissions. Parents between 7 dials and central hove have struggled to find places locally and have often been offered places on the other side of the city. Last year they had to open a "bulge" class at davingdor at the last minute making the intake 150. Every time they expand davingdor the catchment goes down! It is council policy to expand good schools not build new ones. This policy is wrong. They have reached capacity in terms of expansion unless they want to ruin the existing schools. Face facts councillors you need to build a new school and you should have already started. Even if you do ruin and expand Stanford you will still need to build a newl 3 form primary (and let's not forget the poor Connaught kids who still don't have a junior school) the councils planning for school places has been totally inadequate I am surprised there has not been more local action. Frustrated parent
  • Score: 0

9:01am Mon 14 Jan 13

brightone says...

The difficulties with accommodation, outside space and impact for those running and teaching in the schools affected is well covered in other comments. Given that the proposals clearly create more problems than they solve, it would seem very odd if the Council decided on anything other than an urgent review of what appears to have been a very poorly handled consultation and a lack of forward planning. There may be tough choices at the end of that review process but opting for proposals with known and quite possibly insurmountable flaws would look like recklessness. One additional point to those already made is that the expansion of Stanford Infants knowing that a commensurate expansion of Stanford Juniors is nigh on impossible, will place 1 in 4 children at the Infants school in the unenviable position of not being able to progress to their linked, local and chosen junior school. This lack of foresight and planning is at the root of so much of the objection from parents and residents that seems to be carrying very little weight with Council officials thus far. Let's hope that the Councillors themselves take time to ensure that the solution benefits the education of local children rather than placing it at risk.
The difficulties with accommodation, outside space and impact for those running and teaching in the schools affected is well covered in other comments. Given that the proposals clearly create more problems than they solve, it would seem very odd if the Council decided on anything other than an urgent review of what appears to have been a very poorly handled consultation and a lack of forward planning. There may be tough choices at the end of that review process but opting for proposals with known and quite possibly insurmountable flaws would look like recklessness. One additional point to those already made is that the expansion of Stanford Infants knowing that a commensurate expansion of Stanford Juniors is nigh on impossible, will place 1 in 4 children at the Infants school in the unenviable position of not being able to progress to their linked, local and chosen junior school. This lack of foresight and planning is at the root of so much of the objection from parents and residents that seems to be carrying very little weight with Council officials thus far. Let's hope that the Councillors themselves take time to ensure that the solution benefits the education of local children rather than placing it at risk. brightone
  • Score: 0

9:19am Mon 14 Jan 13

hoveres says...

This is certainly an ill-thought out plan, and no solution for the long-term shortage of school places in Brighton/Hove. The 'cram them in' policy that the Green Party currently pursues not only jeopardises the quality of education of what were hitherto 'good schools', but does little to make schools more local. By increasing catchment areas, families will have to travel ever further to their 'local' school. There are other solutions- such as improving the quality of education provided at schools which are currently *undersubscribed*, such as Fairlight Primary- which would make their surrounding areas a viable place to move to for families with young children.
This is certainly an ill-thought out plan, and no solution for the long-term shortage of school places in Brighton/Hove. The 'cram them in' policy that the Green Party currently pursues not only jeopardises the quality of education of what were hitherto 'good schools', but does little to make schools more local. By increasing catchment areas, families will have to travel ever further to their 'local' school. There are other solutions- such as improving the quality of education provided at schools which are currently *undersubscribed*, such as Fairlight Primary- which would make their surrounding areas a viable place to move to for families with young children. hoveres
  • Score: 0

9:19am Mon 14 Jan 13

hoveres says...

This is certainly an ill-thought out plan, and no solution for the long-term shortage of school places in Brighton/Hove. The 'cram them in' policy that the Green Party currently pursues not only jeopardises the quality of education of what were hitherto 'good schools', but does little to make schools more local. By increasing catchment areas, families will have to travel ever further to their 'local' school. There are other solutions- such as improving the quality of education provided at schools which are currently *undersubscribed*, such as Fairlight Primary- which would make their surrounding areas a viable place to move to for families with young children.
This is certainly an ill-thought out plan, and no solution for the long-term shortage of school places in Brighton/Hove. The 'cram them in' policy that the Green Party currently pursues not only jeopardises the quality of education of what were hitherto 'good schools', but does little to make schools more local. By increasing catchment areas, families will have to travel ever further to their 'local' school. There are other solutions- such as improving the quality of education provided at schools which are currently *undersubscribed*, such as Fairlight Primary- which would make their surrounding areas a viable place to move to for families with young children. hoveres
  • Score: 0

9:24am Mon 14 Jan 13

JWRennie says...

The consultation process has clearly show the vast majority of people against it. For the obvious reasons that the school hall and playgrounds are not big enough and any expansion will compromise the safety and well being of children in the school.
Also the consultation process has not involved key groups which would be against it - local residents, linked Junior School and future local parents and children of both these linked school.
The consultation process has clearly show the vast majority of people against it. For the obvious reasons that the school hall and playgrounds are not big enough and any expansion will compromise the safety and well being of children in the school. Also the consultation process has not involved key groups which would be against it - local residents, linked Junior School and future local parents and children of both these linked school. JWRennie
  • Score: 0

10:35am Mon 14 Jan 13

iainmartin7 says...

It's troubling that the process for this 'expansion' has been so flawed.

Launched too late, without approaching the Junior School or even making local residents aware, it's no surprise the Governors of the school have decided not to support the expansion.

I appreciate there is a need for more primary places, but this does not convince me as a solution.
It's troubling that the process for this 'expansion' has been so flawed. Launched too late, without approaching the Junior School or even making local residents aware, it's no surprise the Governors of the school have decided not to support the expansion. I appreciate there is a need for more primary places, but this does not convince me as a solution. iainmartin7
  • Score: 0

10:37am Mon 14 Jan 13

StanfordDad says...

As has been extensively pointed out above, this is a poorly thought out and seriously misguided proposal. The school simply cannot accommodate more children, whose safety and wellbeing would be seriously threatened by such an 'expansion'. A lot of local people inexplicably voted Green at the last election - presumably because they thought they would be 'alternative' and 'cuddly' - I'm guessing they weren't expecting incompetent, dogmatic and unwilling to listen to local people. If this proposal is forced ahead, don't expect those shiny new councillors to be reelected next time.
As has been extensively pointed out above, this is a poorly thought out and seriously misguided proposal. The school simply cannot accommodate more children, whose safety and wellbeing would be seriously threatened by such an 'expansion'. A lot of local people inexplicably voted Green at the last election - presumably because they thought they would be 'alternative' and 'cuddly' - I'm guessing they weren't expecting incompetent, dogmatic and unwilling to listen to local people. If this proposal is forced ahead, don't expect those shiny new councillors to be reelected next time. StanfordDad
  • Score: 0

10:43am Mon 14 Jan 13

Rustle says...

The council's summing up doesn't reflect the comments above. The article above says 500 petition for and 800 against but the council document linked below says 500 for and only around 300 against. Has the council or the Argus got it right? I am also surprised that there are 500 families signing a petition for the proposals who actually have little children who will be affected by just 30 extra places in the next few years.
http://present.brigh
ton-hove.gov.uk/Publ
ished/C00000701/M000
04025/$$Supp13685dDo
cPackPublic.pdf
The council's summing up doesn't reflect the comments above. The article above says 500 petition for and 800 against but the council document linked below says 500 for and only around 300 against. Has the council or the Argus got it right? I am also surprised that there are 500 families signing a petition for the proposals who actually have little children who will be affected by just 30 extra places in the next few years. http://present.brigh ton-hove.gov.uk/Publ ished/C00000701/M000 04025/$$Supp13685dDo cPackPublic.pdf Rustle
  • Score: 0

11:13am Mon 14 Jan 13

porthallresident says...

We all understand that there are not enough school places for primary school children in Brighton- but ruining good schools by cramming in extra children is not the answer.

The children of Brighton and Hove deserve a well thought-out, long term solution- not sticking a few portacabins on an already dangerously overcrowded site.
We all understand that there are not enough school places for primary school children in Brighton- but ruining good schools by cramming in extra children is not the answer. The children of Brighton and Hove deserve a well thought-out, long term solution- not sticking a few portacabins on an already dangerously overcrowded site. porthallresident
  • Score: 0

11:14am Mon 14 Jan 13

Frustrated parent says...

It is really important not to split the community who simply want a high quality school place for thier children. Many who support this proposal do so because they have absolutely no alternative school that thier children would stand a chance of getting in to. Those who are against the proposal do not want to reject members of the community who have not managed to get to sibling link stage.

The community should unite against a council that has resolutely refused to develop long term plans for providing high quality school places for our expanding population of children.
The Stanford site is too small for more children but parents in the local area are not being given any alternative solution and out of desperation they are supporting this.
The greens are meant to support communities - they are so far doing a great job of splitting them. Totally incompetent!
It is really important not to split the community who simply want a high quality school place for thier children. Many who support this proposal do so because they have absolutely no alternative school that thier children would stand a chance of getting in to. Those who are against the proposal do not want to reject members of the community who have not managed to get to sibling link stage. The community should unite against a council that has resolutely refused to develop long term plans for providing high quality school places for our expanding population of children. The Stanford site is too small for more children but parents in the local area are not being given any alternative solution and out of desperation they are supporting this. The greens are meant to support communities - they are so far doing a great job of splitting them. Totally incompetent! Frustrated parent
  • Score: 0

11:26am Mon 14 Jan 13

AndreM says...

With regard to Stanford Infants, the whole exercise strikes me as a poor short term solution to a much greater challenge faced by the council. As such I have the following questions:

Have the council reviewed and assessed the impact of these plans adequately (especially regarding overcrowding and outdoor space)?

Does the council have a strategic plan with regard to meeting the challenges a growing population need (with regard to providing school places)? If so how does this fit in?

Further to the above, what happens to Stanford Juniors, with regard to the increased class size moving up? Surely if you have a strategic plan you would be able to account for this.

As a local resident (with a child attending Stanford Infants), I find it shocking that outside of the school environment, very few know about this consultation. Surely the point of this would be to reach a consensus with local residents – NOT consultation by stealth.

To reiterate, I think that this is a poor short term solution which needs to be reconsidered and re-evaluated.
With regard to Stanford Infants, the whole exercise strikes me as a poor short term solution to a much greater challenge faced by the council. As such I have the following questions: Have the council reviewed and assessed the impact of these plans adequately (especially regarding overcrowding and outdoor space)? Does the council have a strategic plan with regard to meeting the challenges a growing population need (with regard to providing school places)? If so how does this fit in? Further to the above, what happens to Stanford Juniors, with regard to the increased class size moving up? Surely if you have a strategic plan you would be able to account for this. As a local resident (with a child attending Stanford Infants), I find it shocking that outside of the school environment, very few know about this consultation. Surely the point of this would be to reach a consensus with local residents – NOT consultation by stealth. To reiterate, I think that this is a poor short term solution which needs to be reconsidered and re-evaluated. AndreM
  • Score: 0

11:38am Mon 14 Jan 13

Lilactree says...

Why children's safety and well being should be compromised due to the Council's lack of long term planning?
The hall and communal spaces are already overcrowded! It was impossible to see my child at Xmas play as there were so many parents in the hall.
It's the smallest school in Brighton, there is simply no space (tiny conkrit playground, bottle necks exits, limited toilets).
What council trying to bulldoze through is very short sighted solution and won't solve the problem in the area.
What will happen to the children if they can't go to juniors?
It's not an expansion, it's squeezing more kids into very small space which will compromise their safety!
Why children's safety and well being should be compromised due to the Council's lack of long term planning? The hall and communal spaces are already overcrowded! It was impossible to see my child at Xmas play as there were so many parents in the hall. It's the smallest school in Brighton, there is simply no space (tiny conkrit playground, bottle necks exits, limited toilets). What council trying to bulldoze through is very short sighted solution and won't solve the problem in the area. What will happen to the children if they can't go to juniors? It's not an expansion, it's squeezing more kids into very small space which will compromise their safety! Lilactree
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Mon 14 Jan 13

stan-parent says...

A very short sighted and ill conceived solution to a problem that has been growing for years. Stanford infants is a small school with very limited space cramming 90 more children in will impact the safety and well being of our children- crazy and what about juniors!?! A new primary school is what is needed.
A very short sighted and ill conceived solution to a problem that has been growing for years. Stanford infants is a small school with very limited space cramming 90 more children in will impact the safety and well being of our children- crazy and what about juniors!?! A new primary school is what is needed. stan-parent
  • Score: 0

12:19pm Mon 14 Jan 13

busybrightonian says...

It is disappointing that the council has left it very late to sort out places for the 150 children who will start reception in Sept 2013. By shoehorning on extra classhomes to various schools, they are creating more problems than they claim they are solving. Why should 4 years olds be squashed into a small playground or belong to a large school that can't physically accomadate them? Is that what we want for our children? Why should there be 3 sittings for lunch because the school hall is too small? Is the school going to have to start a staggered day, opening earlier, finishing later, so every one gets PE/ Lunch/ etc fitted in?

Stanford is a victim of it's sucess, but to stretch its limited space even further is a joke, it is doing NOONE a favour. As already said, this is not an expansion but a contraction.

What should have been built was another 4 form primary school, using the teaching expertise from all the brilliant primary schools in Brighton, a school everyone would want to go to. But instead of longterm planning (which is now impinged by a change in legislation) we have this last minute, unaccountable, back of an envelope plan, forcing councillors to say yes, as there is no other viable option.

Surely enough is enough? I was at the meeting and was disappointed that there were no architects drawings, no hard answers for the serious questions, and no response about the Junior school! How can you expand the infants and not consult about the Juniors at the same time? The Juniors is a listed building, which is in disrepair, with a limited playground space as well. An extra 4 classes will be needed there, where are they going? Again the council officers would give no answers on that either.

This is a disapppointing consultation, where there is no easy answer for parents who need a school place for their 4 year old.
It is disappointing that the council has left it very late to sort out places for the 150 children who will start reception in Sept 2013. By shoehorning on extra classhomes to various schools, they are creating more problems than they claim they are solving. Why should 4 years olds be squashed into a small playground or belong to a large school that can't physically accomadate them? Is that what we want for our children? Why should there be 3 sittings for lunch because the school hall is too small? Is the school going to have to start a staggered day, opening earlier, finishing later, so every one gets PE/ Lunch/ etc fitted in? Stanford is a victim of it's sucess, but to stretch its limited space even further is a joke, it is doing NOONE a favour. As already said, this is not an expansion but a contraction. What should have been built was another 4 form primary school, using the teaching expertise from all the brilliant primary schools in Brighton, a school everyone would want to go to. But instead of longterm planning (which is now impinged by a change in legislation) we have this last minute, unaccountable, back of an envelope plan, forcing councillors to say yes, as there is no other viable option. Surely enough is enough? I was at the meeting and was disappointed that there were no architects drawings, no hard answers for the serious questions, and no response about the Junior school! How can you expand the infants and not consult about the Juniors at the same time? The Juniors is a listed building, which is in disrepair, with a limited playground space as well. An extra 4 classes will be needed there, where are they going? Again the council officers would give no answers on that either. This is a disapppointing consultation, where there is no easy answer for parents who need a school place for their 4 year old. busybrightonian
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Another local parent says...

The lack of indoor communal space and outdoor space is already a problem at both Stanford Infants and Stanford Juniors. Expansion would seriously compromise these schools. And to make things worse Cardinal Newman and BHASVIC are applying for planning permission to fence off the playing fields and prevent public access, possibly involving a private partner called Goals Soccer Company, so you can forget PE or sports days over at the field. Please can the council think about the longterm effects of both these proposals before making any regretful decisions.
The lack of indoor communal space and outdoor space is already a problem at both Stanford Infants and Stanford Juniors. Expansion would seriously compromise these schools. And to make things worse Cardinal Newman and BHASVIC are applying for planning permission to fence off the playing fields and prevent public access, possibly involving a private partner called Goals Soccer Company, so you can forget PE or sports days over at the field. Please can the council think about the longterm effects of both these proposals before making any regretful decisions. Another local parent
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Mon 14 Jan 13

Lilactree says...

The whole consultation process is flawed! No one apart from stanford infant school were informed about the supposedly 'public meeting', the Contraction (it cant be called expansion!)of Infant school is not linked to Juniors, wrong postal address on proposal reply! and so on...i simply DON'T TRUST the council who can't organise themselves to do things properly.
The whole consultation process is flawed! No one apart from stanford infant school were informed about the supposedly 'public meeting', the Contraction (it cant be called expansion!)of Infant school is not linked to Juniors, wrong postal address on proposal reply! and so on...i simply DON'T TRUST the council who can't organise themselves to do things properly. Lilactree
  • Score: 0

4:11pm Mon 14 Jan 13

alchemist174 says...

The playground is simply not big enough for this expansion. Indoors just works with current numbers. Such a pity given the excessive and underused adjoining space owned by MOD.
The playground is simply not big enough for this expansion. Indoors just works with current numbers. Such a pity given the excessive and underused adjoining space owned by MOD. alchemist174
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree