Sarah Lunnon’s response to the proposals, copied to local papers:
I am writing in response to your proposals to increase Marling/Stroud High School Pupil Admission Numbers (PAN) by 25%.
I note the response from the headteachers of Sir William Romney, Thomas Keble, and Archway schools, which to summarise indicates that an increase in the PAN of Marling and Stroud High will have a significant adverse impact on their pupil numbers, financial viability and so their educational provision.
It is surely a duty to all children being schooled in the district, especially with surplus places predicted into the 2020’s, to work together on PAN to provide the best opportunities to all our children, and a ‘market’ philosophy in how our schools operate will not provide such opportunities. I note that a surplus in demand for Marling/Stroud High school places does not translate into a surplus in demand for places across the district.
Many families in the Stroud Central county division often have children attending selective and non-selective schools. The ability of all schools to finance themselves adequately must be considered.
Given the above, as the County Councillor for Stroud Central I do not support the proposed 25% increase in Pupil Admission Numbers.
If the schools do choose to go ahead, the impact of the extra travel due to increased PAN is likely to be significant. Assuming that not all 300 extra children will live in Stroud town and so walk to the schools, what travel assessment has been undertaken? In my opinion there is no ability for Cainscross Rd to facilitate any extra designated coach parking and residents are already suffering due to the high number of parents who drive their children to the schools. I accept that this is a technical point, which can be addressed, but the congestion caused along Cainscross Rd is an issue and one that the schools need to address.
County Councillor Stroud Central