I would like to clarify my comments regarding Bounds Green, which have been misinterpreted. My comments did not refer to Bounds Green school, either Infant or Junior, however they did refer to children having to travel well over a mile to school.
Haringey Council have recently announced that 100 children from Muswell Hill will not be getting a local school place for September 2005. This is in addition to 85 children who didnt get a local school place last year. Haringeys solution last year was to offer places wherever there was space in the rest of the borough, up to three miles away from the childs home.
I would like to reiterate that it is the children who will suffer most from a continuation of this policy.
Long journey times to and from school do have a disproportionate impact on reception age children both physically and socially, but they also affect the whole community as traffic from the school run increases].
Cllr George Meehan, responsible for education in Haringey, (letters 28 January), confirmed expansion at Tetherdown and the ongoing expansion consultation at Coldfall and Rhodes Avenue, but when will expansion take place? Too late for this Septembers intake. Is it also correct that expansion at Coldfall is going to be delayed because Haringey have run out of money?
The school places crisis in the west of the borough has not been about good and bad schools but local schools. Unfortunately discussions about whether Muswell Hill residents are white middle class snobs actually takes the spotlight off Haringeys education department failing to provide sufficient local school places. The demographic in Muswell Hill has changed significantly over the past few years and the increase in school age children is outstripping supply of school places by 30%.
If Haringey excluded 30% of its residents from any other local service there would be a public outcry remember this is about four year old children accessing schools places 5 days a week for 39 weeks of the year. Haringey council sending the overspill to Bounds Green and Wood Green does not solve the problem it just relocates it. Haringey confirmed in December that the reception class for 2005 at Bounds Green infants will be filled on preference. What happens in a few years time when Bounds Green residents are denied the choice of sending their children to their local school because it is full with Muswell Hill overspill?
I do agree that Bounds Green Infants is a good and improving school and would recommend it for local residents, however that is all we want for our children, a good local school which we can support with the same enthusiasm and commitment shown by the Bounds Green parents.
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