Draytons Community Association

Living in the Draytons in West Ealing

Thank you to all of the members who put together and submitted the DCA submission on the Drayton Green Primary expansion - I have scarcely ever seen such a professional work.  It inspired me to write my own email backing it up - which I have sent to the council as suggested - I would urge all of you to do the same.  In particular it would really serve    our childrens' interests and our property values if the school were really upgraded using the space of the brownfield site next door.

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Comment by Natasha Mahon on June 12, 2012 at 14:56

Hello - I heard from a neighbour about the DCA and felt considering the recent upset I have been hearing about that I had to join.

I would have to agree with the thoughts regarding the submission - a very comprehensive and impressive document.

 

I have a couple of questions, thoughts and suggestions.

 

1. Whoever put this together clearly has a talent and time that can be utilised to support the community - have you ever offered your services to our community school?

2. Since I joined the DCA I have read through the history.  We have two posts from the headteacher of Drayton Green Primary but not one community member said welcome or 'good luck'.  Clearly they have taken on a challenging school would it not have been nice to have pleasent messages before the ones she is no doubt hearing about now?

3. I have an appointment to meet with the headteacher this week to reassure her and her staff that we do not all feel like this.  I would be happy for any neighbour to join me.

 

My genuine fear is that we will make her 'long term commitment' to the school an issue - there are lots of schools looking for headteachers.

 

I am hoping to be convinced that the school is improving and am going in with an open mind.

In my view it is a waste of time suggesting the purchase of the site next door - there is no way that the council would have the budget for that.

Ofsted 2007 and 2010 both under different headteachers, even Ofsted themselves would not use this information as current or comment worthy.

 

Let us get behind the school, not stand it's way.  We all knew it was here when we bought our homes.

Comment by M A A Sinclair on June 12, 2012 at 16:07

I appreciate your positive approach and constructive sentiments. However, compromises should not be made too early. It is an axiom of negotiation that true compromises can only follow after all parties involved have made their desires clear to each other. The DCA's job is to state explicitly what we consider the best way forward given our unique perspective as the actual residents of the Draytons.

I am sure that the school is improving. We want the school to continue its trajectory of improving. What we therefore want is to give the staff the space and opportunity to continue improving - not to double their task and reduce their space per pupil.

With regard to the likelihood of the council using the vacant lot of exactly the right size, which is immediately next door, and which is unoccupied at the precisely right time to be considered for this purpose, there is no harm in us trying - the council will have to order it back if it is not developed (see recent newspaper article re. the failure of the cinema on The Broadway to be rebuilt on time and the threat of the council to take it back) (also see mention by Olivera in the relevant Forum that Notting Hill Trust may not have the funds to build at the moment). Coming back to the theme of negotiation and mutually beneficial compromise: if you do not ask for what you want, then you will probably have zero chance of getting it.

We are very grateful for the positive efforts of all Drayton Green Primary Staff, from the headteacher to the most junior staff member. What we desire is for this school to be supported by Ealing Council, given more financial support for its existing work, not for the school and its students to be dumped upon by doubling student numbers on the existing footprint.

You will no doubt appreciate that what we are saying is quite possibly what many of the school's staff may actually be thinking themselves - but they may not feel comfortable objecting to the student-doubling proposals given that they have careers to consider and their employer is the Council.

So it is all the more important that we, the people who live right here and for whom the school was, perhaps, at some point, a long time ago, to some extent, intended to cater, do speak up for what we consider to be the best way forward.

The teaching of negotiation theory is that, after proper negotiation, an outcome can be reached that is beneficial for all.

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