In the dark
PUBLISHED: 11:48 17 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:12 06 May 2010
SIR — I am one of the Wheathampstead residents who are currently enduring the stress of waiting to see if my child will be allocated a school that is in reasonable reach of where we live. Once again the villages in this area are facing the long wait, and
SIR - I am one of the Wheathampstead residents who are currently enduring the stress of waiting to see if my child will be allocated a school that is in reasonable reach of where we live. Once again the villages in this area are facing the long wait, and once again we receive inaccurate and contradictory information from Herts County Council (HCC) helplines to add to our confusion.
However, I just wanted to bring to everyone's attention some of the ironies of the situation that we are all in, and would love HCC to respond in a public forum so that once and for all we get answers to the questions that are asked each year, but are never answered:
Question 1) Why have HCC failed to honour their promise to the children of our villages to make provision for them at Sandringham School when they closed down the secondary school at Wheathampstead? Why is a child living in Wheathampstead, for whom Sandringham is the closest school, number 33 on a waiting list with no apparent chance of a place at this school?
Question 2) HCC are selling off the land where this school stood to make way for new housing, which will bring more children to the area in families who will consequently find themselves enduring an even longer waiting list for schools. This land will be worth millions. I asked HCC directly via their website if they would use this money for the benefit of the future generations who find themselves in this situation. They replied to this inquiry with the following response: "Proceeds from this sale will go into the receipts of the county council, and elected members decide how the income of the county council is allocated, when they set budgets."
Is this a response that the people of this area, who continue to suffer from the dysfunctional schools' allocation process, deserve? The more cynical reader may even think that HCC are spending the money on something unrelated to the school allocation debacle. Can I suggest that the funds are diverted into extra places for pupils in local schools, or on devising an allocation system that doesn't create such stress for so many people? We have plenty of ideas if they would ever care to listen!
Sorry to bring up these unanswered questions in such a public way, but HCC have been so coy of late in answering them, I thought they may want to let everyone know what they are doing to address a perennial problem that is never fixed. We await their reply in the pages of this newspaper with eager anticipation.
Kingfisher Close, Wheathampstead.