We the undersigned petition Wandsworth council and Sheringdale Primary School to create additional capacity at the school in the form of a bulge class for the September 2013 intake at Reception level.
Many parents who stated their preference for Sheringdale Primary School for their children's reception class were rejected due to high demand and a deficit in places.
Seeing as the school operates two nursery classes but only one reception class, a large proportion of rejections were of children who already spent a year in the school's nurseries developing attachments to their peers, their teachers, their environment and wider community.
Parents were under the impression that the school will accommodate a bulge class (or a 'bubble class') in September 2013, as it has already done before. The notion of a bubble class had been openly discussed on numerous occasions at the school, including as part of the induction programme to the nursery as well as the parent focus meeting on 5th October 2012 (minutes available online, see agenda item #2).
Many of us parents were disheartened to discover not only that our children were not provided with a place at the school of our choice, but that an unreasonable decision was taken against a bulge year that would have eased an evidently high demand. Given the demand in the area for primary places, to have a one form intake primary school in the most centrally located point for families living in Southfields seems a wholly inadequate position. Furthermore, It is our understanding that Wandsworth has accepted this and is working with the school to permanently increase the school size from September 2014. We then question why children born in 2008/09 should be so unfairly disadvantaged this year?
Whilst Wandsworth council may have fulfilled its duty to offer every child a place in another primary school, it fails to resolve the main issue for the parents involved. In particular, it fails to fulfill a duty to the welfare of children, sustaining their friendships and confidence in a familiar environment, enabling them to be ready to learn and flourish. More generally it fails to meet the needs of local families, some of whom have also raised child safety concerns as they would be compelled to travel further for their child's school.
In addition to the above needs, Sheringdale plays a very significant role in the community as one of the key secular schools in the Southfields locality. The importance of its role in providing a secular education in the heart of Southfields cannot be overemphasised. To secular families or families of faith who simply do not support the interface of education and faith in our schools it is an essential service made even more significant given the new free school opening in Wandsworth is another faith school, this position only increases the demand upon Sheringdale to meet a greater need than it is currently able to.
We therefore ask that the council and the school create additional capacity at the school, and allow our children to participate fully in their community at which this school is at the heart.