Catchment chaos: Greens condemn stress for families as Labour Council u-turn

Greens have welcomed news that the secondary school catchment areas for the city will remain unchanged, following months of lobbying from local parents and students concerned about the negative impact of new proposals.

Local Green Councillors have slammed the Labour Council for failing to adequately manage a ‘chaotic’ schools allocations process, after proposals to change school catchment areas drew intense criticism from parents across the city.

Green Councillor Alex Phillips, spokesperson for Children, Young People and Skills Committee, has criticised Labour for making such a late u-turn and for failing to respond to widespread concerns from parents earlier on in the process.

hertford infants petition

The Green Group of Councillors have supported petitions from parents opposed to planned reductions of form sizes in local primary schools, calling for a proper investigation into the impact of these changes.

Councillor Phillips said:

“After defending their unworkable proposals for school catchments for months, against the repeated concerns of parents, students and Councillors alike, the Labour Council has now done a complete u-turn on their failed school admissions plans. These included deeply unpopular proposals to cripple two of our best performing primary schools, Hertford and Benfield, by reducing them to just one class – hardly a sustainable position; and the pursuit of a deeply flawed set of catchment changes, with seemingly little engagement with the city’s existing secondary schools, who have since offered to extend their intake.

“Whilst the information from the secondary school heads that they were willing to expand their classes is to be welcomed, parents and students in their droves have come time and time again to the Labour Council explaining that their proposed catchment plans were untenable for local communities. It has taken months of banging this drum for Labour to finally listen. Parents will be breathing a sigh of relief, but after months of campaigning, the Labour Council’s belated thanks for their input will not erase the stress this has caused our city’s parents and young people, who have been left in limbo for months.”

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