School plan scrapped

A CONTROVERSIAL primary school review in Harpenden has been scrapped – even though seven options on a long list to reduce a surplus of school places had been drawn up. Herts County Council revealed that it would not be going ahead with the review even tho

A CONTROVERSIAL primary school review in Harpenden has been scrapped - even though seven options on a long list to reduce a surplus of school places had been drawn up.

Herts County Council revealed that it would not be going ahead with the review even though last year there was a surplus of 315 school places in the town.

Local school heads were notified at the start of the new term about the decision which has been taken because applications for 2008/9 show an increased number of first-preference applications for Harpenden primary schools.

Recent figures from local health services also show an increase in the number of children registered at local GP practices.


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An education spokesperson explained that the surplus had now fallen below the five to 10 per cent of places across all year groups regarded as acceptable by the government.

The county council maintains it waited until it could assess the future impact of reception class places for 2008/9 before making its decision. During the autumn it had held meetings with heads, governors, local councillors and voluntary groups with a special interest in primary education in the town.

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The long list of options included several proposals involving school amalgamations with Manland Primary, The Lea and Sauncey Wood Schools all in the frame.

There were fears in the town that the primary review could be used to aid the secondary situation by moving Manland to another site allowing Sir John Lawes to expand on to its land.

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