Thursday, 17 January 2013

Councillor Invites Parents And Residents To “Shape Your School”

Cllr Ian Manning
(LD, East Chesterton)

East Chesterton County Councillor, Lib Dem Ian Manning is inviting parents and residents to play an active part in shaping the area's new primary school.

He is urging them to attend a meeting on Tuesday, January 22 at Brownfields Youth and Community Centre between 7pm and 9pm to have their say.

“The new school is going to be an incredibly important part of our local community, so I wanted to give residents, whether parents or not, a chance to find out how the school will be run,” said Cllr Manning “Sending a child to school is a huge step for parents and this needs to be an informed choice.”

Cambridgeshire County Council has chosen The Active Learning Trust as its preferred sponsor to run the new school and representatives will be at the meeting to answer questions about how the school is run and who will be overseeing the initial phase of its development until September 2013 and beyond.

Cllr Manning will also attend, along with some other members of the panel which recommended ALT, to answer questions about the process and the choice.

The Active Learning Trust is a charitable trust, headed up by Clive Bush, ex-head of Linton Village college who has years of experience across the country as Director of National Strategies.

Clive said: “The Trust is delighted to be chosen as the preferred sponsor to operate the new school and we will be speaking with as many prospective parents and other members of the community as possible over the coming months in order to gain a clear understanding of the needs and views of the East Chesterton community.

“From our perspective, we are committed to establishing an, innovative, high achieving school that will enable all its pupils to reach their full potential.”

Parents still have until January 31 to express either a preference for the new school for their child in admission papers or, if they have already submitted the papers, to change their preference after meeting Active Learning if they wish to do so.

“I'm pleased the county council is being flexible with admissions and encouraging parents to go along and find out about the kind of school ALT will run,” added Cllr Manning. “I'm confident the panel made the right choice in recommending Active Learning and am pleased that they are already meeting with parents.”

The decision to recommend Active Learning was made after a number of extra public consultations held by Cllr Manning, at an assessment panel meeting on the 10th January.

The panel consisted of 4 Councillors (a 5th, Labour Councillor was invited but they were unable to send one) and 5 Council staff, including professionals with experience in early years, teaching, and admissions.

The recommendation will be ratified by the County Council's cabinet on the 29th January, and will then go to the secretary of state, Michael Gove, for a final decision thereafter.

Active Learning has a website at www.activelearning.org