Drive to Get Parents to Choose Local Schools

Council publishes primary school strategy for consultation

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More parents choosing local primary schools; fewer mixed-age classes; and more after-school care - these are the top targets of Hammersmith and Fulham Council's primary schools strategy, which has been published for consultation.

"Primary schools in Hammersmith and Fulham are generally very well thought of by local parents and the majority send their children to local state schools," says Cllr Antony Lillis, cabinet member for children's services. "The government says local councils are the 'champions of local parents' and it is our role to make sure local schools meet parents' needs and aspirations. Many of our schools are extremely popular and over-subscribed, but a few are struggling to provide the standards parents want and others have surplus places."

Cllr Lillis acknowledges that these are the areas the Council needs to improve. They would also like to tackle the problems associated with some schools having 1.5 forms of entry leading to mixed-age classes and would like to be able to offer more parents before and after-school childcare and homework clubs, particularly working parents.

The strategy was discussed s on the agenda for discussion at a recent cabinet and is available on the council's website.

Currently 65% of primary-aged children go to local state schools. The strategy proposes a target of 70% by 2010. The council is setting a target for all schools to be judged by Ofsted as 'good' or better. It also aims to move the borough back to 2nd place in the inner London primary test league table (currently ranked 4th). There are 1,155 surplus places, which is 12% of total places. The strategy proposes to reduce this to 5% by 2010.

January 9, 2007