'No school places crisis' says Kingston Council leader Liz Green

Kingston Council leader councillor Liz Green

MON AM SC KING "There is no school places crisis" says Kingston Council leader

First published in News Surrey Comet: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

There is no schools place crisis, the leader of Kingston Council has said, as figures reveal some schools had four times as many applications last year as they had places to offer.

Kingston Council figures show for the September 2013 academic year there were 6,764 applications for 2,040 places. Although parents are encouraged to put down up to six choices, a chief education officer said many did not.

The most popular school in the borough was Latchmere School that had 491 applications for 120 places, with 156 parents making it their first preference.

Kings Oak only had 90 applications for 90 places with just 36 parents saying it was their first choice.

Liberal Democrat and Kingston Council leader Councillor Liz Green said there were always dropouts and many of the children ended up going to private schools.

She said: “People like that term ‘school crisis’. But there is no crisis in Kingston. We are providing the school places.”

But David Cunningham, the Conservative councillor overseeing schools, said: “I think the figures are disturbing. “It really shows the problem in Kingston schools, particularly in north Kingston.”

He said council officers publicly admitted they faced “a challenge” even if they did not admit to a crisis.

Julie Ritchie, headteacher at Kingston’s most popular school, said: “Latchmere is delighted to be supported and valued by the community it serves.”

Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, said: “As a result of the Government’s academy and free schools programme, councils find themselves in the untenable position of having responsibility for providing quality primary and secondary places, but no power to plan, commission or build schools. “The reality is that many children could be without a school place, perhaps as many as one in four.

“We need to see an end to this chaotic approach to education provision and return to policies which work for all children and young people.

Local authorities know best where and when places are needed in their communities. They need the power to open new schools”.

- Christian group Chapel Street and Gems, who run schools across the world, including in the United Arab Emirates, have put in applications for funding.

- They are expected to be told whether they are successful by the Education Funding Authority in the next few weeks.

- Chapel Street wants to open a primary and secondary school in Kingston or Norbiton to begin opening its first stage by September 2015.

- Gems is hoping to run a primary school somewhere in Tolworth, starting with 60 pupils.

Comments (19)

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8:55am Mon 19 May 14

Beverly RA says...

She really is out of touch with whats really happening on the ground. The facts are 1 in 3 children in Kingston do not receive their first choice Secondary School . 14 extra primary school classes are needed just to meet current demands in Kingston according to the council .1in 4 children in Kingston have to travel outside the Borough
Her party campaigned against the new Secondary School in North Kingston , blocked the permanent expansion of local school primary School sand failed to plan for the surge in demand for secondary school places in Kingston and have failed to provide enough quality school places in the Borough .
Cllr Green you are well out of touch with reality , now look at what Richmond as achieved answer this . how many new Schools has Richmond built in the past four years ?
She really is out of touch with whats really happening on the ground. The facts are 1 in 3 children in Kingston do not receive their first choice Secondary School . 14 extra primary school classes are needed just to meet current demands in Kingston according to the council .1in 4 children in Kingston have to travel outside the Borough Her party campaigned against the new Secondary School in North Kingston , blocked the permanent expansion of local school primary School sand failed to plan for the surge in demand for secondary school places in Kingston and have failed to provide enough quality school places in the Borough . Cllr Green you are well out of touch with reality , now look at what Richmond as achieved answer this . how many new Schools has Richmond built in the past four years ? Beverly RA
  • Score: -6

9:31am Mon 19 May 14

concernedofkingston says...

Good to hear our Leader saying something before the elections but I sort of get the feeling that when she lifts her head from the sand she will be surprised at the army of pigs flying by.
Good to hear our Leader saying something before the elections but I sort of get the feeling that when she lifts her head from the sand she will be surprised at the army of pigs flying by. concernedofkingston
  • Score: -5

12:37pm Mon 19 May 14

captain_shamrock says...

After four years of serial objections to new school places across the borough, it's too late for the Tories to gain any credibility on the school place issue.

Under the Tory Free School regime, it's idealogue & lunatic Michael Gove, not the council, who ultimately decide when new schools are allowed to be built.

Michael Gove delayed the desperately needed North Kingston school funding by a year. No reason was ever given. Cynical souls might ask whether Michael Gove's delay was intentionally introduced so that the school wasn't built before this election. It wouldn't be the first time that nasty Tories have played politics with kids' education.

Regular readers will know that the Tories betrayed Surbiton parents, opposing Lime Tree once they saw the brilliant work that MP Ed Davey had done at Westminster. In 2009, Ed was the first MP to raise the impending London schools population rise. His work led to £8.2 million coming to Kingston, which was used to create thousands of new primary school places.

Two faced Conservatives blanket opposed most of the proposed new school places. Usually on the basis that they were "unsuitable". Tellingly, they never came up with any acceptable alternative sites that could deliver the places quickly and where needed. When the Tories serially objected to 1000's of new places in the knowledge that no alternative sites existed to meet immediate need, they were playing nasty politics with kids' education.

Off the top of my head, from 2009 to 2013, Conservatives refused to support the majority of the 945 new places provided by the Lib Dems in Surbiton & Berrylands. That's a shameful record. No doubt figures are similar in other parts of our royal borough.

For a full timeline on Michael Gove's unexplained North Kingston delay, see this 2013 Kingston Guardian story.

http://goo.gl/zkyo3m


.
After four years of serial objections to new school places across the borough, it's too late for the Tories to gain any credibility on the school place issue. Under the Tory Free School regime, it's idealogue & lunatic Michael Gove, not the council, who ultimately decide when new schools are allowed to be built. Michael Gove delayed the desperately needed North Kingston school funding by a year. No reason was ever given. Cynical souls might ask whether Michael Gove's delay was intentionally introduced so that the school wasn't built before this election. It wouldn't be the first time that nasty Tories have played politics with kids' education. Regular readers will know that the Tories betrayed Surbiton parents, opposing Lime Tree once they saw the brilliant work that MP Ed Davey had done at Westminster. In 2009, Ed was the first MP to raise the impending London schools population rise. His work led to £8.2 million coming to Kingston, which was used to create thousands of new primary school places. Two faced Conservatives blanket opposed most of the proposed new school places. Usually on the basis that they were "unsuitable". Tellingly, they never came up with any acceptable alternative sites that could deliver the places quickly and where needed. When the Tories serially objected to 1000's of new places in the knowledge that no alternative sites existed to meet immediate need, they were playing nasty politics with kids' education. Off the top of my head, from 2009 to 2013, Conservatives refused to support the majority of the 945 new places provided by the Lib Dems in Surbiton & Berrylands. That's a shameful record. No doubt figures are similar in other parts of our royal borough. For a full timeline on Michael Gove's unexplained North Kingston delay, see this 2013 Kingston Guardian story. http://goo.gl/zkyo3m . captain_shamrock
  • Score: 9

12:38pm Mon 19 May 14

captain_shamrock says...

Flashback 2010: Conservatives betray Surbiton & Berrylands parents by opposing new Lime Tree school and offering no feasible alternative

http://goo.glHPhzhr

.
Flashback 2010: Conservatives betray Surbiton & Berrylands parents by opposing new Lime Tree school and offering no feasible alternative http://goo.glHPhzhr . captain_shamrock
  • Score: 9

12:39pm Mon 19 May 14

captain_shamrock says...

Flashback 2013: Christ Church School, Surbiton - Conservatives refuse to support 120 new places AND popular new MUGA pitches. No alternatives proposed.

.
Flashback 2013: Christ Church School, Surbiton - Conservatives refuse to support 120 new places AND popular new MUGA pitches. No alternatives proposed. . captain_shamrock
  • Score: 11

12:40pm Mon 19 May 14

captain_shamrock says...

Flashback 2011: Conservatives petition against hundreds of proposed new New Malden places. "Unsuitable", they say.

http://goo.gl/7CFLHf


.
Flashback 2011: Conservatives petition against hundreds of proposed new New Malden places. "Unsuitable", they say. http://goo.gl/7CFLHf . captain_shamrock
  • Score: 10

12:41pm Mon 19 May 14

captain_shamrock says...

Flashback 2010: Current *New Malden* Conservative councillor signs petition against new *Chessington* primary school places.

http://goo.gl/sBwTpP


.
Flashback 2010: Current *New Malden* Conservative councillor signs petition against new *Chessington* primary school places. http://goo.gl/sBwTpP . captain_shamrock
  • Score: 11

1:12pm Mon 19 May 14

Dog whistle says...

Given the above, at least we can eliminate the Captain as being Cllr Greene.
Given the above, at least we can eliminate the Captain as being Cllr Greene. Dog whistle
  • Score: -7

1:16pm Mon 19 May 14

marina68 says...

Captain Shamrock,
 
I'm glad you highlighted Michael Gove - it's not just the hypocritical PAST behaviour of Kingston Conservatives that's the problem.
 
Their FUTURE plans are quite frankly terrifying for those who have children’s education at heart.
 
Kingston Conservative's future version of free schools is to allow private companies such as Hedge Funds and Venture Capitalists to run OUR schools for their PROFIT.
 
Lib Dems are completely opposed to these LUNATIC Conservative plans. One of our finest achievements in government was to expose and stop Gove's schools for profit plans. We say education should be for the *Benefit of Children, Not Shareholders*.
 
Once profit enters the mix, parents will no longer trust that decisions are being made in the best interests of their child's education, and not the best interests of profit.
 
Additionally, Lib Dems say that all teachers should be qualified (or working towards qualifications). Labour agree. Only the Conservatives support having unqualified teachers teaching our kids. We say that teaching is a skill that must be properly taught and learnt. Unqualified teachers may mean more profit for Gove's hedge fund pals, but will almost certainly lower standards.
 
Under the Lib Dems, our schools are among the best in the country.
Our primary schools are 4th out of 152 local authorities.
That's an incredible achievement and one of the key reasons families come to Kingston.
This Thursday, vote Lib Dem to keep the Conservative spivs from wrecking it.
 
Links:
 
Kingston schools among best in country:  http://ow.ly/x0aSQ
Lib Dems stop dangerous Gove plans: http://ow.ly/x0apY
 
 
Captain Shamrock,   I'm glad you highlighted Michael Gove - it's not just the hypocritical PAST behaviour of Kingston Conservatives that's the problem.   Their FUTURE plans are quite frankly terrifying for those who have children’s education at heart.   Kingston Conservative's future version of free schools is to allow private companies such as Hedge Funds and Venture Capitalists to run OUR schools for their PROFIT.   Lib Dems are completely opposed to these LUNATIC Conservative plans. One of our finest achievements in government was to expose and stop Gove's schools for profit plans. We say education should be for the *Benefit of Children, Not Shareholders*.   Once profit enters the mix, parents will no longer trust that decisions are being made in the best interests of their child's education, and not the best interests of profit.   Additionally, Lib Dems say that all teachers should be qualified (or working towards qualifications). Labour agree. Only the Conservatives support having unqualified teachers teaching our kids. We say that teaching is a skill that must be properly taught and learnt. Unqualified teachers may mean more profit for Gove's hedge fund pals, but will almost certainly lower standards.   Under the Lib Dems, our schools are among the best in the country. Our primary schools are 4th out of 152 local authorities. That's an incredible achievement and one of the key reasons families come to Kingston. This Thursday, vote Lib Dem to keep the Conservative spivs from wrecking it.   Links:   Kingston schools among best in country:  http://ow.ly/x0aSQ Lib Dems stop dangerous Gove plans: http://ow.ly/x0apY     marina68
  • Score: 21

5:49pm Mon 19 May 14

Beverly RA says...

First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers.
Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** .
They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one
Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS
First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers. Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** . They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS Beverly RA
  • Score: -6

7:04pm Mon 19 May 14

0753waterloo says...

Beverly RA wrote:
She really is out of touch with whats really happening on the ground. The facts are 1 in 3 children in Kingston do not receive their first choice Secondary School . 14 extra primary school classes are needed just to meet current demands in Kingston according to the council .1in 4 children in Kingston have to travel outside the Borough
Her party campaigned against the new Secondary School in North Kingston , blocked the permanent expansion of local school primary School sand failed to plan for the surge in demand for secondary school places in Kingston and have failed to provide enough quality school places in the Borough .
Cllr Green you are well out of touch with reality , now look at what Richmond as achieved answer this . how many new Schools has Richmond built in the past four years ?
Have the Tories come up with VIABLE options, or just objections?
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: She really is out of touch with whats really happening on the ground. The facts are 1 in 3 children in Kingston do not receive their first choice Secondary School . 14 extra primary school classes are needed just to meet current demands in Kingston according to the council .1in 4 children in Kingston have to travel outside the Borough Her party campaigned against the new Secondary School in North Kingston , blocked the permanent expansion of local school primary School sand failed to plan for the surge in demand for secondary school places in Kingston and have failed to provide enough quality school places in the Borough . Cllr Green you are well out of touch with reality , now look at what Richmond as achieved answer this . how many new Schools has Richmond built in the past four years ?[/p][/quote]Have the Tories come up with VIABLE options, or just objections? 0753waterloo
  • Score: 9

7:06pm Mon 19 May 14

0753waterloo says...

Beverly RA wrote:
First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers.
Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** .
They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one
Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS
Any apologies for misleading information in Tory campaign literature?
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers. Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** . They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS[/p][/quote]Any apologies for misleading information in Tory campaign literature? 0753waterloo
  • Score: 0

7:09pm Mon 19 May 14

Beverly RA says...

0753waterloo wrote:
Beverly RA wrote:
First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers.
Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** .
They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one
Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS
Any apologies for misleading information in Tory campaign literature?
About the same as the misleading Lib Dem literature
[quote][p][bold]0753waterloo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers. Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** . They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS[/p][/quote]Any apologies for misleading information in Tory campaign literature?[/p][/quote]About the same as the misleading Lib Dem literature Beverly RA
  • Score: -1

7:20pm Mon 19 May 14

0753waterloo says...

Beverly RA wrote:
0753waterloo wrote:
Beverly RA wrote:
First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers.
Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** .
They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one
Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS
Any apologies for misleading information in Tory campaign literature?
About the same as the misleading Lib Dem literature
Any examples, or just noise and smoke again?
[quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]0753waterloo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers. Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** . They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS[/p][/quote]Any apologies for misleading information in Tory campaign literature?[/p][/quote]About the same as the misleading Lib Dem literature[/p][/quote]Any examples, or just noise and smoke again? 0753waterloo
  • Score: 9

6:25am Tue 20 May 14

Beverly RA says...

0753waterloo wrote:
Beverly RA wrote:
0753waterloo wrote:
Beverly RA wrote:
First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers.
Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** .
They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one
Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS
Any apologies for misleading information in Tory campaign literature?
About the same as the misleading Lib Dem literature
Any examples, or just noise and smoke again?
Not Really just read the National press today about Kingston. Quote.
"At first glance, you don't much fancy Lib Dem chances. Their administration was horribly rocked when its leader stepped down last year following his arrest on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children. He pleaded guilty and lost his liberty for two years. The Lib Dems lost the by election caused by his resignation from the council. Another councillor elected as a Lib Dem has become an independent. Throw in the party's unhappy standing in the polls, and who would wager much against a Tory win?"
But we will see on Thursday .As my Husband says at the end of the day it's the voters who will have the final say. But with Ladbrokes giving odds of a 1/2 Con win 5/1 Lib Dem win and he says that bookmakers don't like giving money away.
[quote][p][bold]0753waterloo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]0753waterloo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Beverly RA[/bold] wrote: First all Government policies has to be signed off by all Ministers including the Lib Dems ministers. Next the Lib Dems seem to think they are beyond the Law. Apart from the Ex Leader on Kingston Council serving jail time for Child **** . They now have decided to take on the Electoral commission by distributing illegal Leaflets , thankfully the matter as been reported to the Police as this is an offence in law. It will be interesting to see how they riddle out of this one Oh By the way our neighbouring Borough Tory Controlled have BUILT EIGHT NEW SCHOOLS[/p][/quote]Any apologies for misleading information in Tory campaign literature?[/p][/quote]About the same as the misleading Lib Dem literature[/p][/quote]Any examples, or just noise and smoke again?[/p][/quote]Not Really just read the National press today about Kingston. Quote. "At first glance, you don't much fancy Lib Dem chances. Their administration was horribly rocked when its leader stepped down last year following his arrest on suspicion of possessing indecent images of children. He pleaded guilty and lost his liberty for two years. The Lib Dems lost the by election caused by his resignation from the council. Another councillor elected as a Lib Dem has become an independent. Throw in the party's unhappy standing in the polls, and who would wager much against a Tory win?" But we will see on Thursday .As my Husband says at the end of the day it's the voters who will have the final say. But with Ladbrokes giving odds of a 1/2 Con win 5/1 Lib Dem win and he says that bookmakers don't like giving money away. Beverly RA
  • Score: -3

8:28am Tue 20 May 14

0753waterloo says...

So no substance to back up your claims, just press hubris.
So no substance to back up your claims, just press hubris. 0753waterloo
  • Score: 3

10:53am Tue 20 May 14

Beverly RA says...

Tell us why there is a police inversigation apparently into the way the lib Dems are not complying with the law. If proven that could result in fines of thousands of pounds,Given its ex leader is currently serving jail time
It dose not look very good on the law and order front for them localy
Tell us why there is a police inversigation apparently into the way the lib Dems are not complying with the law. If proven that could result in fines of thousands of pounds,Given its ex leader is currently serving jail time It dose not look very good on the law and order front for them localy Beverly RA
  • Score: -2

11:21am Tue 20 May 14

0753waterloo says...

I don't know because I have not raised a compliant. Not much came of the last few times this trick was tried, wasting time and tax payers money.
I don't know because I have not raised a compliant. Not much came of the last few times this trick was tried, wasting time and tax payers money. 0753waterloo
  • Score: 1

9:15pm Fri 23 May 14

UKIP Surbiton says...

Mary Clark ( B .. RA ) you have no idea what its like in the school system at the moment ... the first wave of bulge classes that hit the primary schools will hit the secondary schools in Sept 2015 ... absolutely no provision has been made for this ... expect the tsunami that will hit your Tory administration , better buy some lifeboats now .
Mary Clark ( B .. RA ) you have no idea what its like in the school system at the moment ... the first wave of bulge classes that hit the primary schools will hit the secondary schools in Sept 2015 ... absolutely no provision has been made for this ... expect the tsunami that will hit your Tory administration , better buy some lifeboats now . UKIP Surbiton
  • Score: 0

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