School places row hits Parliament

THURROCK MP Jackie Doyle-Price has debated the lack of primary school places in Chafford Hundred in the House of Commons.

The Gazette reported in May, how 23 children in Chafford Hundred had been unable to secure school places at one of the three primary schools in the town.

The majority of those parents have now accepted a place at schools outside of Chafford, but four are still without a place.

During her speech, Jackie questioned the fairness of the council’s appeal system, and criticised it for making parents feel “like a nuisance”.

She highlighted cases where paperwork had been lost on more than one occasion, parents who should have been given 20 days notice to appeal given just 14, and appellants, who were supposed to be given ten days notice of their hearing, being given just one.

She added: “As a result of all this, the parents do not feel they have had a fair opportunity to appeal against the decision made by Thurrock Council and believe the process was run in a way that would have only one outcome.

“I am sad to say the parents have largely been seen as a nuisance by the LEA and are very bruised by their attempts to press their case. They should not be made to feel that way.” Jackie also questioned how reasonable the council’s offers of alternative schools were, with many more than three miles away.

In response to Jackie’s points, education minister David Laws said he was concerned to hear about the situation.

* CHAFFORD Hundred’s Harris Primary Academy now boasts nine new classrooms.

A new wing, opened by Thurrock mayor Yash Gupta, has six classrooms and a hall.

The two-phase project saw the building of a new nursery and the transformation of the old nursery into an additional three classrooms.

The work was funded by a  grant arranged by Thurrock Council and has allowed the school to increase its intake of children each year to 90.

Comments (5)

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4:31pm Mon 17 Sep 12

rocket1 says...

i sure parliament has got a lot more urgent business than a few whingers on chafford hundred,chafford hundred is not a town,grays is a town and chafford is a part of it,all the children have been offered a school place.
i sure parliament has got a lot more urgent business than a few whingers on chafford hundred,chafford hundred is not a town,grays is a town and chafford is a part of it,all the children have been offered a school place. rocket1

4:42pm Mon 17 Sep 12

Thurrockbob says...

rocket1 wrote:
i sure parliament has got a lot more urgent business than a few whingers on chafford hundred,chafford hundred is not a town,grays is a town and chafford is a part of it,all the children have been offered a school place.
Well said Rocket, whinging twallops.
[quote][p][bold]rocket1[/bold] wrote: i sure parliament has got a lot more urgent business than a few whingers on chafford hundred,chafford hundred is not a town,grays is a town and chafford is a part of it,all the children have been offered a school place.[/p][/quote]Well said Rocket, whinging twallops. Thurrockbob

4:54am Tue 18 Sep 12

we_man says...

one school in ockendon i literally had to walk 25 mins from the start of the estate cullen square to eriff drive this is acceptable going on that basis a large chunk of chafford hundred, mainly the west end by the sand martin pub is the same distance if not a tiny bit closer then the walk im describing im talking at least 400 dwellings in this range, get to the round about walk torwards the fire station then theirs a alley way then cuts you right into hathaway road and how many places they all winging about here 23 parents i think the moan count was as people said its a part of grays if i had to walk 25 mins and not complain then the grays school so far as im concerned can take up to 400 odd pupils from the west end of chafford
one school in ockendon i literally had to walk 25 mins from the start of the estate cullen square to eriff drive this is acceptable going on that basis a large chunk of chafford hundred, mainly the west end by the sand martin pub is the same distance if not a tiny bit closer then the walk im describing im talking at least 400 dwellings in this range, get to the round about walk torwards the fire station then theirs a alley way then cuts you right into hathaway road and how many places they all winging about here 23 parents i think the moan count was as people said its a part of grays if i had to walk 25 mins and not complain then the grays school so far as im concerned can take up to 400 odd pupils from the west end of chafford we_man

4:55am Tue 18 Sep 12

we_man says...

oh its about primary schools lool
oh its about primary schools lool we_man

11:27am Sat 22 Sep 12

Dave_ says...

The problem with Chafford is that it is a hotch potch of little developments by different companies and as such there was no requirement by any one of them to ensure that enough schools etc were built.
Ultimately though this is gross a failing highlighting the incompetence of TBC at the initial planning stages and over the period of time the Chafford estate has been built, to control things to make sure there were sufficient schools etc built, rather than what seems to have happened, which is oh nuts we need a school and they have squeezed them in.
I also think though that we need to get rid of the parental choice when it comes to the state school their child goes to and they go to the nearest geographically, regardless of how good / bad it is on paper.
I concur with Rocket, I do wish people would stop referring to Chafford 100 as a town, it is an estate formed of a hotch potch of building sites in disused quarries.
The problem with Chafford is that it is a hotch potch of little developments by different companies and as such there was no requirement by any one of them to ensure that enough schools etc were built. Ultimately though this is gross a failing highlighting the incompetence of TBC at the initial planning stages and over the period of time the Chafford estate has been built, to control things to make sure there were sufficient schools etc built, rather than what seems to have happened, which is oh nuts we need a school and they have squeezed them in. I also think though that we need to get rid of the parental choice when it comes to the state school their child goes to and they go to the nearest geographically, regardless of how good / bad it is on paper. I concur with Rocket, I do wish people would stop referring to Chafford 100 as a town, it is an estate formed of a hotch potch of building sites in disused quarries. Dave_

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