Thirty children in the St Margarets area look set to start their school life four months late due to the council’s failure to provide enough places in time for the start of the school year in September.
There are currently 43 children living in the St Margarets area who have yet to be offered a place for a reception class this September. After months of inaction and complacency, the Conservative council is finally in talks with Orleans Infants School and with parents to determine if an extra class can be provided at the school from January 2012: a four month delay in the start of children’s education.
Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Malcolm Eady said: “This was always going to be a very difficult year because of the exceptionally high birth rate in 2007. The new Conservative administration cut the expansion programme we had in place for the St Margarets area, and for the last 9 months we have been demanding that they put in extra classes.”
“The planned expansion at Orleans Infants, which we proposed in Febuary 2010 and which the new Conservative administration put on hold, has still not got the go ahead.
“The Conservatives seem to lack any sense of urgency to solve the problem. The birth rate has not dropped significantly, and we know we will need more new sites. None have been forthcoming. We have reports and press statements, but no positive action. The administration’s hope is that “something will turn up”. If they are waiting for money from the government, then they may have a very long time to wait."
— Press Release from Cllr Malcolm Eady, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson – 10th June 2011