School places row

PUBLISHED: 10:25 18 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:53 06 May 2010

SIR – Cllr Judy Shardlow (Herts Advertiser, February 11) raises the problem of how the education authorities are expected to predict the number of places required in future years. A recent leaflet from an estate agent inadvertently highlights this problem

SIR - Cllr Judy Shardlow (Herts Advertiser, February 11) raises the problem of how the education authorities are expected to predict the number of places required in future years. A recent leaflet from an estate agent inadvertently highlights this problem.

It reads: "We are currently witnessing exceptionally high levels of applicant registration from buyers specifically looking at targeting this area around Crabtree and Sir John Lawes Schools.

"At this time of year this is unusual, but is what we believe to be one of the symptoms of the 'credit crunch' and the importance now placed on 'quality state schooling', particularly from those coming into Harpenden from London."

Does this not reveal part of the problem? Do these incomers appreciate that they are creating extra difficulties for local families competing for scarce places? Do they inform the education authorities of their intentions well in advance? The county can presumably factor in the consequences of building new homes but the distortions created by unplanned changes in demand can hardly be blamed on them.

GAVIN ROSS

Connaught Road, Harpenden


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