Draytons Community Association

Living in the Draytons in West Ealing

Planned enlargement to Drayton Green Primary

Has anyone else had a letter from the school dated 18 May inviting them to a presentation of the proposed doubling in pupil size of Drayton Green Primary school?  As I only received the letter on 22 May (left in my porch, so a good job not a windy day) I won't be able to make the meeting this Friday 25 May between 3 - 4pm.  I think the increase in the school  numbers will be unavoidable.  I'm not aware of any recent cases where the council has modified its plans and there is a shortage of school places in the borough.  What I do think is that with a proposed doubling in pupil numbers from the current 244 to 420, we might want to ask them to move the main school entrance from Drayton Grove, look at other school trnasport options (will this become a borough school necessitating more pupils brought by car?) and also consider how increased teacher numbers will affect parking in Drayton Grove.  Will they also plan to make more use of the school during the summer holidays eg playschemes?

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I am not convinced its unavoidable that Drayton Green needs to double in size and would question whether that would allow adequate space to play and would simply be too disruptive for the area e.g. doubling car journeys into a congested area. 

But, if there is expansion we need to ensure we are given consideration and it does not feel like thats actually part of the plan at the moment.

Gerald

I am very concerned about proposed expansion of Drayton Green Primary for several reasons.  I appreciate that Ealing needs more school places, however this particular school does not have good track record in consulting the residents in the area about anything.  Firstly, they changed their main entrance to Drayton Grove, impacting heavily on traffic to the cul-du-sac.  Ealing Council has imposed double yellow lines outside school’s gate in Drayton Grove, taking available parking spaces in the street for the convenience of the school.  All this has done was to invite yet more traffic, with heavy lorries offloading, parents using this to leave their cars in the middle of the street, ignoring double yellow lines even when there are parking spaces available further down the street.   Ealing MP, Steve Pound, asked that Cllr Popham investigates whether the report by highway engineers was done prior to changing the school’s main entrance; however Cllr Popham is still to report back.  I would be very interested to know what risk assessment has been done before changing the main school entrance?

 

Last year school carried out extensive work to the site and being the first house next to the school, we were woken up many weekend days at 7am with heavy work machinery, shouting etc.  Calls to the school to respect quite time imposed by the council were met with promises that the situation will improve… till the next time.  I know for a fact that skips have damaged at least one car in the street.   

 

I have visited the school and spoken to the head teacher, Ms Karen Doherty who advised me to make our views known in writing to the school’s governors.  We did this in February this year, along with several other residents; however until now we have not received a reply or acknowledgment from the school. 

 

I am alarmed with this new proposed expansion and will be attending an Open Day tomorrow.  Because this was a very short notice and time not suitable for working people, Ms Holly Morgan-Smith from the Ealing Council offered to meet with the residents at the more suitable time, 8am on Monday 27th May??

 

As this expansion may have potentially huge impact on the area, I wold invite the residents to view the proposal in detail at http://www.ealing.gov.uk/downloads/download/1393/consultation_on_th...

and to let us know via DCA whether we should ask for another meeting with the Ealing council and Councillors at the time more convenient for the majority of the residents. 

 

Olivera & John Farrell

48 Drayton Grove

I think it's going to be difficult to make any quality judgements above knee jerk reaction without more information. As a parent of 2 little ones who will potentially enrol at the school before long my first concern is the effects on the children. I can't imagine how the current site can cope with twice the pupils without mass overcrowding, and the be honest it's not the most abundantly resources scholarly at the moment. The lack of stability in terms if a headmaster/mistress over the years means the drastic changes would be putting immense pressure on the individual who is currently trying to stabilise the school. There's no library yet, for example. This school does have some disadvantages over others in the area, but the plans that we were told we're in place seemed positive but surely these will now be shelved. I think the high level of 'moral values' this school is documented to produce is down to it's friendly, safe feeling environment. Losing any feeling of space in favour of filling every available free area is going to seriously affect the schools biggest positive aspect.
In terms of our local area, my thoughts are that if the doubling if capacity is to meet general over-demand in the Borough, then we'll potentially be taking another two hundred non-catchment area pupils meaning arrivals by cars will be inevitable and substantial. I'd be interested to know who this new two hundred will be on that basis, and how they'll control where they might be travelling from.
I just can't believe the council would let No.51 go to a commercial developer when it would have provided a good alternative space, rather than compromising our local kid's education and environment.

olivera said:

I am very concerned about proposed expansion of Drayton Green Primary for several reasons.  I appreciate that Ealing needs more school places, however this particular school does not have good track record in consulting the residents in the area about anything.  Firstly, they changed their main entrance to Drayton Grove, impacting heavily on traffic to the cul-du-sac.  Ealing Council has imposed double yellow lines outside school’s gate in Drayton Grove, taking available parking spaces in the street for the convenience of the school.  All this has done was to invite yet more traffic, with heavy lorries offloading, parents using this to leave their cars in the middle of the street, ignoring double yellow lines even when there are parking spaces available further down the street.   Ealing MP, Steve Pound, asked that Cllr Popham investigates whether the report by highway engineers was done prior to changing the school’s main entrance; however Cllr Popham is still to report back.  I would be very interested to know what risk assessment has been done before changing the main school entrance?

 

Last year school carried out extensive work to the site and being the first house next to the school, we were woken up many weekend days at 7am with heavy work machinery, shouting etc.  Calls to the school to respect quite time imposed by the council were met with promises that the situation will improve… till the next time.  I know for a fact that skips have damaged at least one car in the street.   

 

I have visited the school and spoken to the head teacher, Ms Karen Doherty who advised me to make our views known in writing to the school’s governors.  We did this in February this year, along with several other residents; however until now we have not received a reply or acknowledgment from the school. 

 

I am alarmed with this new proposed expansion and will be attending an Open Day tomorrow.  Because this was a very short notice and time not suitable for working people, Ms Holly Morgan-Smith from the Ealing Council offered to meet with the residents at the more suitable time, 8am on Monday 27th May??

 

As this expansion may have potentially huge impact on the area, I wold invite the residents to view the proposal in detail at http://www.ealing.gov.uk/downloads/download/1393/consultation_on_th...

and to let us know via DCA whether we should ask for another meeting with the Ealing council and Councillors at the time more convenient for the majority of the residents. 

 

Olivera & John Farrell

48 Drayton Grove

We didn't get an invitation to the presentation, despite living only a few doors down from the Drayton Green entrance, so have missed that now. Interested to hear from anyone who did if anything interesting arose.

I think expansion is unavoidable. It seems that every other local school has done so, and Ealing aren't going to build a new school because parking might get a bit worse for a few roads. Incidentally re teacher numbers and parking, I was told they can't get permits, is this incorrect?

On the congestion at pick up and drop off times. This is a bugbear for me too, being right by the Drayton Green entrance. Not so much on parking, but on child safety, particularly people dropping off on the zigzag lines. I would say that this expansion is an opportunity for the DCA to open a dialogue with the school with a view to the management team there taking road safety AND parking concerns a lot more seriously. Having a parking warden hanging about once a month is not the answer, if the school had a staff member at each entrance recording and writing home on antisocial dropoff/collection behaviour I think both school and local residents would soon see an improvement. I wrote to Karen on this a while ago, so suspect it's on her radar but down the list a little.

Perhaps we could even offer some volunteers to help with this. Might not be practical, but if we're working alongside our local school rather than just complaining when they get things wrong we will all benefit. Is there a local resident on the board of governors? We should have some representation there, or at least a contact.

Simon

I attended the Open day on Friday, 25th May (flyer was dropped through the letter box on 22nd (dated 18th??).  Not a long notice at all and I was the only one.  The case for expansion is driven by the needs for the new school places in the borough.  This is very much a struggling school, however there was little or no reference to how is Drayton Green Primary going to deal with doubling its size.  This school was graded Satisfactory in the last Ofsted report from 2010 with pupils’ attainment graded as Inadequate.  School constantly performs badly in Ofsted, 2007 and 2002 (available from Ofsted website).   Some of the challenges facing the school are: over half of the pupils having English as a second language and high proportion of pupils classified with special needs, many in language and communication area.  Higher than usual proportion of pupil’s eligible for free school meals and significant staff turnover, were also highlighted in the report.  The situation does not seem to change from one report to another in spite each one stating that the school should be able to improve? 

 

It is predicted that the new building will be erected to accommodate 4 new classrooms and the rest of the pupils will be added to the main building.  There are two playground areas, one you can see in front of the school from Drayton Grove and another one between the two buildings of approximately same size.   The school anticipates that overcrowding on the playground will be resolved by having two shifts of breaks, thus doubling on the noise.  I am not sure how disruptive the noise will be for the children in the classroom if half of the school is having a break? 

 

All work will be done through Drayton Grove.  School does not have plan in place on how to deal with increase in traffic, organising get together between the parents and the local residence as a solution to the problem was offered.  Ealing Council who is collecting the cash from the CPZ from the local residents should take responsibility for managing traffic chaos. 

 

Couple of other schools with similar ethnic and social fabric, Hobbayne and Montpelier were both graded Outstanding in their Ofsted reports so it is Drayton Green that keeps struggling. 

 

As a local resident and as a parent looking for the primary school I am extremely concerned with this proposal.  Ealing Council gave the residents only 2 week notice, until 8th June to submit their objections and I would appeal to the local residents in particular those with interest in education to read the proposal and school performance and log their objections before the deadline.  After that will be too late! 

 

Olivera

In reference to the school achievements I have found it necessary to factor in the high turnover of transient pupils as well as staff in the overall results achieved to get a full view of them, as so many kids are being pulled in and out of school during term time, any normal gauge of achievements will show little accuracy taken as an average. The language is also obviously going to have an effect on results if many don't speak English. We should remember whilst discussing under-achievement that this school excels at moral values and at producing well rounded children. It's not all failure.
However, the main issue has been the lack of leadership. We finally now have a headmistress who has committed to a minimum of 4 years, and that is going to have a huge impact in stability in all areas, both pupil and staff related. I'd very much like to hear what she has to say above anyone else on this matter, as she'll be best placed to offer a pragmatic view.
Having spoken to several teachers at the school, not one seems to be overly concerned about the population increase. Whilst my concerns were initially in line with Olivera above, I have to acknowledge what the teachers are saying, especially as some have their own kids in this school. The increased funding that I'm told will accompany this rise, used correctly, could be of huge benefit in tackling any existing shortfalls.
If I'm honest, on reflection I think we should all just bite the bullet and deal with any disruption to our area around this expansion, as long as the school is doing right by the kids and their education. If it were my two children refused entry to the school due to being fully subscribed, I'd be driving to another school out of catchment adding to someone else's traffic/congestion problems. There's no solution to this short of a restriction on childbirth, so we need to manage a necessary and unavoidable increase rather than put up what seems to be an overly defensive stance.
We all want better traffic, parking and noise levels in this increasingly built up area, but ultimately this is a problem that has to be solved so we must prioritise our concerns. If the school functions well but there's more traffic, that's a compromise i'm willing to bear, personally.
On that basis I would prefer to prioritise questioning the specifics of the school above too much around inconvenience to locals. I understand others may have different priorities, but I would hate for any forcefully communicated aversion to traffic and environment to cause oversight of these important points.
Once we're sure our children are getting what they need, we can all get together with the council to help minimise collateral disruption, I hope. 
Andy, 7 Drayton Green

I agree with Andy, it would be good to think that increased government funding would be used for the benefit of all the children in the school. Regretfully presentations made by both, the school and the council did not seem to address the challenge facing the school- namely overcrowding.

This is another example of a lack of proper long term planning, and the search for quick fix which solves the problem of the day. A couple of years ago there were temporary classrooms erected on the site which are now going to be demolished. The Council has missed the opportunity to bid for the site next door when it went for sale a couple of years ago. It was purchased by the Notting Hill trust but there are unconfirmed reports that the Trust may not have funds to go ahead with the proposed building works. Why didn’t the Council bid for this site as a more permanent solution to ever increasing needs for school places? This could have provided the opportunity for this struggling school to improve.

Why don’t they approach the Trust now to purchase access to the school via the site, or at least ch ange the main entrance to Drayton Green? This would give easier access to the school to suppliers and parents. Instead they are turning a cramped cul-du-sac into a major highway. There are of course solutions, but no evidence that there is anyone listening!

I would also like to send my child to this school in three years’ time but so far I haven’t heard anything from the school or the council to reassure me that this would be a good decision. Why should I go looking for a school elsewhere in the borough for my child when I live next door to one?

Copies of the presentation by the council are available from Drayton Grove 48, just call in if you want your copy or let me know where you are and I will drop one through your letter box.

Olivera

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