This year’s allocations of secondary school places once again show the reason we started the project to open a new local school for local families.
According to official Hertfordshire County Council figures (Application & Allocation Statistics dated 1 March 2016) the average percentage of families across the County getting their first preference school was 79.6%.
In Aldenham (Radlett) it was 59%
In Borehamwood it was 69%
In Shenley it was 75%
In London Colney it was 70%
In St Stephens it was 71%
85 families across the proposed Harperbury catchment area were allocated a school which was NOT one of their four preferences so most are now appealing against the allocation, a process which can take months and leads to considerable anxiety as many of you will know.
Additionally Hertfordshire has updated their estimates for demand for secondary places over the next few years (“Meeting Rising Demand for School Places Mid Year 2015/16”) . This shows that there will be a shortage of places across the Harperbury catchments area starting in 2018/19 (-42) reaching a peak in 2023/24 of -406 places.
Our proposed 120 places a year would of course helped here but now will not be available. Adding a few extra students to various schools or even whole new classes will not be able to deal with these numbers and it is clear that new schools will be needed but none are currently planned. By law they will have to be new Free Schools but who is going to apply to build a new Free School in this area after what has been done to us?