Richmond children face long commute to school, opposition warns

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Warning: Opposition leader Councillor Stephen Knight Warning: Opposition leader Councillor Stephen Knight

Some 11-year-olds could face a daunting commute across the borough to get to secondary school next year when the number of classroom places drops, it has been claimed.

Richmond Council predicted it would have enough capacity on both sides of the Thames for pupils enrolling for September 2013.

However, its forecast relied on proposed free schools, including a Maharishi Free School, in Oldfield Road, Hampton, opening next year.

Councillor Stephen Knight, leader of Richmond’s Liberal Democrat group, said the council could not guarantee the Department for Education (DfE) would approve its applications and, if it did, parents may not want to send their children there. He said: “Only three of the borough’s eight secondary schools have any spare capacity for this September’s intake and next year, according to the council’s own projections, without a new secondary school on the Middlesex side of the borough, only Richmond Park Academy, in East Sheen, will have spare places.”

He claimed the council’s decision to approve a Catholic secondary school in Clifden Road, Twickenham, and spend £25m creating sixth forms meant it had no more land to solve the problem.

He added: “This means that 11-year-olds in Twickenham, Hampton and Teddington could well face a daunting commute to East Sheen as soon as September 2013.”

The council’s forecast, which it published with its consultation about the Clifden Road site, predicted free schools would create 100 more classroom places in 2013.

A Richmond Council spokeswoman said: “Our forecasts and our plans indicate that there will be sufficient secondary school capacity on both sides of the Thames from September, 2013.

“We do not envisage any children on the Middlesex side of the river commuting to Richmond Park Academy unless it is through parental preference.”

The Maharishi Free School Richmond team said it has met with Lord True, leader of Richmond Council, to discuss its unique and inclusive ethos and the quality of education it would provide.

A group of residents have started a NoRichmondFreeSchool campaign on Twitter to derail the Maharishi School Trust’s application, which has been competing against another bid from St Mary’s Church, in Church Street, Hampton.

The church has asked the Department for Education permission to build a primary school on the same site.

Comments (6)

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2:17pm Mon 18 Jun 12

ChrisSquire says...

The headline is dead wrong; it is in fact Twickenham, Fulwell and Teddington children who will face the long journey to the far end of the borough each day once Twickenham Park Academy is full up.
The headline is dead wrong; it is in fact Twickenham, Fulwell and Teddington children who will face the long journey to the far end of the borough each day once Twickenham Park Academy is full up. ChrisSquire

8:06pm Mon 18 Jun 12

Twickenham resident says...

A shortage of school places in the LBRuT is nothing new and in fact it got worse under the Lib Dems! Richmond is a victim of its own success and a great many families move to this Borough for its good schools.

A great many families also have to educate their 16 year old children outside the Borough too because of the shortage of sixth form provision - again largely thanks to the Lib Dems.

PS is Con Knight trying to look serious ? lol !
A shortage of school places in the LBRuT is nothing new and in fact it got worse under the Lib Dems! Richmond is a victim of its own success and a great many families move to this Borough for its good schools. A great many families also have to educate their 16 year old children outside the Borough too because of the shortage of sixth form provision - again largely thanks to the Lib Dems. PS is Con Knight trying to look serious ? lol ! Twickenham resident

12:49am Tue 19 Jun 12

Twickenham Bob says...

And many people in the borough also think the Maharishi Free School is a front for a cult organisation.

Lots of disturbing stuff about them if you google Transcendental Meditation.

http://www.suggestib
ility.org/ is quite interesting.
And many people in the borough also think the Maharishi Free School is a front for a cult organisation. Lots of disturbing stuff about them if you google Transcendental Meditation. http://www.suggestib ility.org/ is quite interesting. Twickenham Bob

10:50am Tue 19 Jun 12

Tim Guy says...

Regarding the website suggestibility.org, here is a response to the website from a board-certified psychiatrist:

http://tinyurl.com/7
evarky
Regarding the website suggestibility.org, here is a response to the website from a board-certified psychiatrist: http://tinyurl.com/7 evarky Tim Guy

4:04pm Wed 20 Jun 12

jeremyhm says...

Readers should note that the "board-certified psychiatrist" who wrote this response figures prominently in a website proclaiming the virtues of transcendental meditation
http://www.tm.org/be
nefits-anxiety.
So to reproduce a famous quotation from the 60s "he would, wouldn't he?"
Readers should note that the "board-certified psychiatrist" who wrote this response figures prominently in a website proclaiming the virtues of transcendental meditation http://www.tm.org/be nefits-anxiety. So to reproduce a famous quotation from the 60s "he would, wouldn't he?" jeremyhm

9:33am Sat 23 Jun 12

Hampton Mum says...

The Twitter campaign mentioned in the article is definitely worth a look and is not just about the cult/no cult issue. For example, the Maharishi sponsors used misleading advertising in their adverts (the ASA said so) to persuade parents to sign up at their open meetings. You can read it all even if you don't have a Twitter account yourself: https://twitter.com/
#!/NoRmdFreeSch
The Twitter campaign mentioned in the article is definitely worth a look and is not just about the cult/no cult issue. For example, the Maharishi sponsors used misleading advertising in their adverts (the ASA said so) to persuade parents to sign up at their open meetings. You can read it all even if you don't have a Twitter account yourself: https://twitter.com/ #!/NoRmdFreeSch Hampton Mum

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