Two School Stories

Our secondary schools have a very big influence of the quality of life in their local areas. So it’s worth noting that Greenward College in Hockley may change from being under Essex County Council to being directly linked to central government. According to the Echo:

A SOUTH Essex school has proved so successful it has been shortlisted to become the country’s first non-city academy.

Greensward College, in Hockley, will be one of eight schools in the running to become an academy, funded directly by the Department for Children, Schools and Families, rather than by the local authority.

This would give it the freedom to set its own curriculum and to link with other schools.

The academy scheme has so far been used only for failing schools in deprived inner-city areas, but this new project could see a successful rural school transformed with Government money.

(incidentally, according to the College’s website, their principal is also Chief Executive Officer of the Unity City Academy in Middlesbrough which is apparently being run by the company Fujitsu . )

Meanwhile King Edmund’s School in Rochford is using the District Council’s core structure consultation to appeal for better road access:

95 COMMENT The King Edmund School
Rochford District Core Strategy Regulation 26 Draft – 4.6 General Development Locations

Summary: As the pathways in education change, particularly to accomodation, vocational education and the vocational diplomas, th school must develop its facilities and resources and particularly its accessibility.

Essex County Council have indicated that whilst there is capacity within the primary schools in Rochford, this school is already accommodating more more students than is recommended by the DfES for our site area. Student numbers, including those from 1000 new homes, would indicate that we would remain oversubscribed. If we are to expand we would need to protect our playing fields and look to the area of the field to the north of the school, between our site and Brays Lane.

As you are aware we are desperate for new access to our site. The King Edmund School was built in 1962 at the end of a cul-de-sac in Vaughan Close with only 400 students and very little vehicle movement. We are now a school of 1550 students and we employ 180 staff, all of which currently access our site through Vaughan Close. We also host Rochford and Rayleigh Delivery Group and, as from this summer, the Rochford TASCC group.

Our local residential roads are grid locked in the mornings with 7 double decker buses endeavouring to disembark our students. This is a major Health and Safety concern. The very narrow Vaughan Close access is complicated by residents parking, thus causing real problems for delivery vehicles, causing them to often mount the pavements being used by students. In the afternoon, coaches can access the site through the narrow Oxford Road entrance but this can sometimes clash with visitors and sixth formers car parking.

Since the situation on site cannot be improved we need to:

Separate buses and other vehicles from pedestrians and staff traffic.
Provide access to parking areas without using the same paths as students
Provide an entrance space for access for deliveries and contractors
Provide access and parking for the increased community visits to the site.

Most of these issues could be addressed by new vehicular access from Brays Lane which would facilitate a turning circle and parking for buses, and would deliver students to the site rather than the surrounding streets. It would also provide access for deliveries but, most imporatantly, would provide access for our parents and community visitors.

Finally the Governing Body would ask you to very seriously and urgently consider the current and future needs of The King Edmund School, which is the main provider for secondary education for the children of the Rochford District residents.

The Governing Body and Management of the school would welcome a visit by members and officers of RDC to discuss the above matters.