The Governing Body of Victoria Dock Primary School Statement –
Places at the school have been much sought after for the previous three years with 48, 48 and 42 gaining places in Year 2, Year 1 and Foundation 2 respectively. Despite the high demand for places the capacity of the school has not been increased and with nearby schools having spaces and the land currently occupied by the school a site of Special Scientific Interest and too small for expansion, the future is presently uncertain.
One thing for certain is the school wants the very best for the children that attend the school and does not want to compromise the education they are given. The school also appreciates the difficulty and anxiety of parents wanting a place for their child who face the prospect of not getting one.
The Governing Body at Victoria Dock Primary School fully understand and share the concerns of parents/guardians of prospective pupils at this difficult time of the year in respect of the admission arrangements for the school. Firstly, it has to be pointed out that the school does not have a role to play in the selection of children given a place at the school. This is the role of an independent body, who in turn advise the school of the children who have been given a place.
This year there are 57 children whose parents/guardians have selected the school as their first choice for their child’s education and whilst we would welcome each and every one of them there are only 30 places available for the 2012 intake. The school already has numbers of children in school well above the school roll number, which has arisen as a result of taking in children who have successfully appealed for a place at the school in previous years. In practical terms this means that he school infrastructure, in terms of teaching spaces, toilet and cloakroom facilities, preparation of school meals, hall space for dining and performances, and adequate play space is currently compromised.
The Governing Body have advised the local authority of this impending crisis for the past four years and have lobbied vigorously for the school to be extended to meet the demand for places, but without success. As many of you will be aware the school is unique in that it was the first primary school in the UK to be constructed under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) arrangement by the Sewell Group for the local authority and the community on Victoria Dock. It is a partnership that has worked well and the school has been extended twice before, from 60 places to 120 and then from 120 to 240, which is the present design capacity of the school.
The Governing Body are continuing to explore various options with Sewell Group, the Local Authority and the DfE in an effort to try to find a solution to the increased demand for places , which includes a permanent extension and remodelling of the school, so that it can continue to serve the needs and increased demands of the Victoria Dock community .