At last someone is seizing the initiative with respect to the education strategy. Uttlesford District Council is required to consider schools and education as part of their Local Plan before they decide on development site locations; it is what East Herts do. And UDC should have been working with Essex County Council on it, but evidence shows that they didn’t. Instead the UDC Cabinet seems to have been making strategy up on the hoof, then retracting it, and scaring parents in the process. It’s such a shocking shambles that in their latest update, UDC were even required to remove the developer provisions for new schools.
Now John Hartley, the smart and well-respected Saffron Walden County High School headteacher, is filling the void that both Uttlesford District Council and Essex County Council have left. Hot on the heels of his recent letter to parents, he’s suggesting that local schools combine resources and brains to form a micro Local Education Authority, a Localism Education Authority if you will. Under his vision a number of schools in the district could combine into the Saffron Academy Trust, which runs the SWCHS. And there is a model for it; SWCHS already provides similar, but less formalised support for Mountfitchet College in Stansted.
It’s an interesting idea – what do parents think?
There is a great article that is worth a read in the Saffron Walden Reporter (page 1).