MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, Lynne Featherstone and Haringey’s Liberal Democrat Opposition Education Spokesperson, Cllr Gail Engert are shocked that 83 children of secondary school age are still waiting to start their studies at one of the borough’s mainstream schools.
The figures were released last week in response to a question by Lynne Featherstone to Haringey Council regarding places available at primary and secondary schools in the borough.
Whilst there is currently a surplus of 99 places at local primary schools, 83 children of secondary school age are currently attending tuition. Of these, fourteen have been allocated school places and are attending tuition whilst awaiting a school interview and start date.
Another thirteen have accepted places on the new young people’s college scheme at CONEL but are continuing to attend tuition pending a start date being given.
This leaves 67 children still yet to be placed and this, say Cllr Engert and Lynne Featherstone, is completely unacceptable. They believe that while the London Borough of Haringey has a large transient population, which makes it difficult to anticipate numbers, this is not a new phenomenon and that council leaders should have sought advise and financial assistance from central government to address this annual situation.
Cllr Engert is particularly concerned that in a meeting last year she raised the issue of places shortfall and was accused of scaremongering by the Labour Council’s executive member for education.
Cllr Engert comments:
“After the fiasco of poor planning for primary school places in the west of the borough, which left many children without a local place, we now have a borough-wide shortage of secondary places. This Labour-run council seems to lurch from one crisis to another in school place planning.”
Lynne Featherstone MP adds:
“I am shocked that this high number of children are still to be placed in our secondary schools and will be following this up with the Council to see if this can avoided with better planning in future years.”