Plea for council to reject 'supersizing' of Rhodes Avenue Primary

I urge the council to reject the Lib Dem proposal for three-form entry at Rhodes Avenue Primary. I sympathize with the families who weren t immediately able to secure places in the borough s most popular schools. However, spoiling the ethos of functioni

I urge the council to reject the Lib Dem proposal for three-form entry at Rhodes Avenue Primary. I sympathize with the families who weren't immediately able to secure places in the borough's most popular schools. However, spoiling the ethos of functioning, well-performing community schools by expanding them is also unfair and NOT the answer.

Enlarging our primaries to three forms will only serve to strain their resources, make them less effective and lower their achievement level over time. I beg you to consider the age group we're talking about. A primary school of 700-plus children is just too huge. Educational research has proven that young children thrive in smaller environments.

With a roll of 470, Rhodes Avenue is already much larger than the average British primary. I already wonder if my 4-year-old and 6-year-old sometimes feel overwhelmed and insecure in such a crowded, bustling atmosphere.

In its otherwise excellent report on the school last year, Ofsted warned that Rhodes Avenue doesn't always accurately track students' progress to identify slippage in their performance. How would adding another 200 children make that job any easier? How would it be any easier for our head teacher and her management team to get to know our kids individually, so that they can gain confidence and feel part of a safe and caring community?


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Impairing the borough's high-flying schools by making them bigger is not the solution to the school-place crisis. We should focus resources on bringing up the underperforming schools, so that they may become an acceptable option for parents over time.

Larger catchment areas don't expand school communities. They diminish them.

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Anne Pollak

Victoria Road, N22

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