Council's education leaflet criticised in the local press
Richmond Council is facing criticism for sending every household in the borough a glossy 8-page brochure called “Education – quality, choice and diversity” at a cost of £7400.
See this link for the main story in today's Richmond and Twickenham Times. There was also a letter on the same topic from a local resident, and we've heard anectdotal evidence of negative comments circulating on Facebook.
Of course we'll soon be in the run-up to the May 2014 elections, so some marketing is inevitable; but setting aside the cost of the brochure, what about its content?
There are lots of things to celebrate in our local Education system, some of them to the Council’s credit, but there's also a negative side. In particular the brochure doesn’t mention the risk the Council took with secondary places in coming years when it decided to give the Clifden Road site to St. Richard Reynolds' Catholic College.
RISC is monitoring what is actually happening compared to the Council's forecasts, and will hold it to account for its decision-making. It's already clear that, even this year, on the Twickenham side of the borough, there wouldn’t have been enough places for non-Catholic children if St. Richard Reynold's hadn’t had some spares.
Although RISC wants children of all backgrounds to have access to the new school, if its places are being allocated to people who didn't even apply then that surely means there aren't enough Community places to go round.
Our core team are gathering data from the recent National Offer Day using Freedom of Information requests, so we'll be publishing a full analysis soon.