Education Secretary Michael Gove promises more school places to head off south west Hertfordshire admissions crisis

Education Secretary Michael Gove promises more school places to head off south west Hertfordshire admissions crisis

Education Secretary Michael Gove promises more school places to head off south west Hertfordshire admissions crisis

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

Education secretary Michael Gove reassured parents more school places are being created in south west Hertfordshire - after nearly a fifth of children in the county missed out on their first choice primary school this year.

Speaking at Garston Manor School in Watford last week, Mr Gove accepted there has been a shortfall in primary and secondary school places in the region blaming the previous administration’s inaction as the population increased.

However, he pointed to a £50 million investment in Watford to expand existing school buildings and ensure education facilities are fit for purpose.

Mr Gove added that three new primary schools are in the pipeline.

He said: "My first priority is to make sure every parent has a decent range of choice about where to send their children.

"What happened to cause this situation was that the population went up under the last government, but they did not do anything about it.

"We’ve invested much, much more in schools and building new schools."

Mr Gove was at Garston Manor to check the progress of its new £4.7 million extension, which is scheduled to open this September.

The MP for Surrey Heath said the government had a Priority School’s Building Programme, which will fund improvements to two Watford schools.

Watford Observer:

Michael Gove visits Garston Manor School with Richard Harrington last week  

Some £20 million is going towards the rebuilding of Westfield School on Tolpits Lane, and Kings Langley Secondary School.

But Mr Gove said there was also a wider investment plan specifically for Watford.

He said: "It is important that parents have choice and we will keep investing to make that happen.

"We are committed to investing more in building refurbishment, and building new schools for the community that are fit for purpose.

"We want to provide youth facilities the children deserve.

"We are expanding existing schools, as well as opening new schools for the community.

"We will be spending £50 million in Watford and building three new primary schools."

The wider investment in Watford Schools, worth more than £50 million, includes improvements to buildings of Watford Boys and Girls Grammar Schools worth £1.6million.

Watford MP Richard Harrington arranged the visit for Mr Gove.

Comments (8)

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7:04pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Reader (R) says...

He'd better get a move on, he will be unemployed come next May.
He'd better get a move on, he will be unemployed come next May. Reader (R)
  • Score: 7

8:31pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Harry Caine says...

He can keep Rich Harrington company
He can keep Rich Harrington company Harry Caine
  • Score: 5

10:02pm Tue 8 Jul 14

drunkenduck says...

Does that mean Langleybury School will be reopening then?

Instead Herts taxpayers getting charge hundreds of thousands every year on security since it close and been standing empty since 1996.

Though hat could be used to build a new hospital or land could be sold to build a new hospital.
Does that mean Langleybury School will be reopening then? Instead Herts taxpayers getting charge hundreds of thousands every year on security since it close and been standing empty since 1996. Though hat could be used to build a new hospital or land could be sold to build a new hospital. drunkenduck
  • Score: 3

11:39pm Tue 8 Jul 14

Andrew1963 says...

I think Langlebury was sold to The Grove, for future expansion. It is not just school buildings, but there is a chronic shortage of teachers. With teachers pay frozen for 6 years, and many due to retire in next ten years, it will only take a rise in mortgage rates to make it virtually impossible for local primaries to fill posts. As it is many head teacher appointments are made from short lists of one suitable candidate. There is a crisis in primary teaching which will hit SW Herts and other parts of South East very soon indeed. Why be a teacher when you can earn more as a secretary or a supermarket assistant manager and need the higher income to get a mortgage on a 2 bed terrace.
I think Langlebury was sold to The Grove, for future expansion. It is not just school buildings, but there is a chronic shortage of teachers. With teachers pay frozen for 6 years, and many due to retire in next ten years, it will only take a rise in mortgage rates to make it virtually impossible for local primaries to fill posts. As it is many head teacher appointments are made from short lists of one suitable candidate. There is a crisis in primary teaching which will hit SW Herts and other parts of South East very soon indeed. Why be a teacher when you can earn more as a secretary or a supermarket assistant manager and need the higher income to get a mortgage on a 2 bed terrace. Andrew1963
  • Score: 8

9:21am Wed 9 Jul 14

Cuetip says...

Reader (R) wrote:
He'd better get a move on, he will be unemployed come next May.
Having abandoned 11 out 12 Watford wards as deemed as not worthy, after 5 years the big question with the election now only months away voters will be asking is whether this government has delivered a more efficient and effective education service for all that was promised. It seems far too many Watford families feel they have been abandoned and left to sink or swim as regards school places.

On the surface it looks like the usual electioneering opportunistic photo op especially when one considers according to The Telegraph’s Ian Cowie on the of Budget 2013: ‘Tax receipts hit record high of £1bn per week more than Labour grabbed’.
[quote][p][bold]Reader (R)[/bold] wrote: He'd better get a move on, he will be unemployed come next May.[/p][/quote]Having abandoned 11 out 12 Watford wards as deemed as not worthy, after 5 years the big question with the election now only months away voters will be asking is whether this government has delivered a more efficient and effective education service for all that was promised. It seems far too many Watford families feel they have been abandoned and left to sink or swim as regards school places. On the surface it looks like the usual electioneering opportunistic photo op especially when one considers according to The Telegraph’s Ian Cowie on the of Budget 2013: ‘Tax receipts hit record high of £1bn per week more than Labour grabbed’. Cuetip
  • Score: 6

9:24am Wed 9 Jul 14

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Do we need more schools or less people? Maybe it's a combination of both, but we should never forget that some external influences, beyond the control of the UK government, are causing an unpredictable population rise that somehow we need to find school places for. As many as want to come, we must find places for.

We have no choice but to build build build and create more school places as we have no control over our borders or the increase in population caused by having open borders.

There has to be a more sensible way.

UKIP. Leave the EU. Run our own country. Manage immigration in the same way as America, Canada and Australia. What's wrong with that?

No-one but UKIP offers that choice. In 2015 you have a choice. Make sure you use it.
Do we need more schools or less people? Maybe it's a combination of both, but we should never forget that some external influences, beyond the control of the UK government, are causing an unpredictable population rise that somehow we need to find school places for. As many as want to come, we must find places for. We have no choice but to build build build and create more school places as we have no control over our borders or the increase in population caused by having open borders. There has to be a more sensible way. UKIP. Leave the EU. Run our own country. Manage immigration in the same way as America, Canada and Australia. What's wrong with that? No-one but UKIP offers that choice. In 2015 you have a choice. Make sure you use it. Phil Cox (UKIP)
  • Score: -4

11:54am Wed 9 Jul 14

LocalBoy1 says...

Less immigration and more school places and housing allocated to those families born in the UK....
Less immigration and more school places and housing allocated to those families born in the UK.... LocalBoy1
  • Score: -1

8:43am Thu 10 Jul 14

D_Penn says...

Isn't it obvious that if you keep building flats all over Watford without matching it with a proportionate increase in the infrastructure that you are going to cause problems?

Why are Watford LibDem Councillors so fixated on building and dismissive of the issues stemming from the overcrowding they are creating?

Their propaganda machine that drops leaflets regularly through Watford convinces many that they do a good job. Issues such as this prove the opposite.
Isn't it obvious that if you keep building flats all over Watford without matching it with a proportionate increase in the infrastructure that you are going to cause problems? Why are Watford LibDem Councillors so fixated on building and dismissive of the issues stemming from the overcrowding they are creating? Their propaganda machine that drops leaflets regularly through Watford convinces many that they do a good job. Issues such as this prove the opposite. D_Penn
  • Score: 2

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