At the start of this month we reported the joy of children in their final year at St Peter’s Junior School in Ruddington at securing their places at Rushcliffe Spencer Academy this September.
Formerly Rushcliffe School, the West Bridgford secondary school has traditionally been the first choice for Year Six pupils in our village – allowing friends to stay together as they progress to ‘big’ school. In sharp contrast to the year before, and despite continuing pressure on school places, this time ‘National Offer Day’ (March 1st) resulted in every child at St Peter’s who wanted a place at Rushcliffe Spencer Academy being offered one.
Sadly, RUDDINGTON.info has discovered that not every parent and child resident in our village is celebrating this success right now. Mark Vickers contacted us to say: “While I am pleased so many in Ruddington got into the Rushcliffe Academy I’m afraid our son has been sent to South Wolds in Keyworth and will have to do the 12 mile return journey each day. We live right in the middle of the catchment area in Ruddington for Rushcliffe (on Packman Drive).”
Although his family has lived in our village for over a year, it seems the difference is that their son was unable to get a place at St Peter’s (or any other junior school nearby). That means he is still having to attend school in Bulwell: “This involves him having to commute and go to the breakfast and after school clubs each day to make it possible for us to get him there and back” explains Mark. “So his day lasts from before 0700 to around 1800! This is despite St Peter’s primary being sixty seconds’ walk from our front door. Now he has been doubly disadvantaged as he will be going to school where he will know nobody and will continue to have drawn out days. This is really quite heartbreaking for us, as parents, because we are seeing the effect on his wellbeing.”
Ruddington Borough Councillor Jen Walker says: “The news that children who attend St Peter’s all got a place at Rushcliffe, should they want it, was music to my hears on admission day. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been as cut and dry as I’d hoped and there are still children from our community that need support. I will continue to work alongside these families so they can attend their local school.”
Councillor Tracey Taylor, chairman of the Nottinghamshire County Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee, says: “We are, of course, determined to keep improving and this includes continuing to work to increase school place provision where needed.“
Headteacher at St Peter’s Junior School, Michael Bradley, told RUDDINGTON.info: “We are aware that additional primary school places will be needed for the families of Ruddington over the next several years. As a result, Nottinghamshire County Council is currently considering the options available to address this. One possibility is to increase our admission numbers from 90 to 120, which would eventually see us expand from having three classes per year group to four. Should NCC be given the go ahead to undertake a feasibility study, we look forward to working closely with them to explore all options.”
Mark Vickers adds: “We will appeal, but we hold no confidence, as we appealed his primary school place. While we thought the hearing could only go one way, because we brought a firm case and the Council had very little to say, for some reason the appeal was rejected.”
Are you a Ruddington family with a Year Six child who have found yourselves in a similar situation this year? If so, please let us know >>HERE<< or by messaging via our RUDDINGTON.info Facebook page or other social media channels.