Headmaster John Campbell defuses parents anger regarding their children not being able to go to the school.
Hopefully we will find the newspaper story to go with the photo. But if anyone can tell us what happened please comment below.
April 2023 and I think the story’s been found. Written by Pat Stone and entitled: ‘Catchment 22! Parents into battle.’ It was published in the Echo 15th July 1987.
The mysteries of Canvey’s school catchment areas has been highlighted by MP Sir Bernard Braine, Sir Bernard , Tory for Castle Point, is championing children who live within sight of Furtherwick Park school but have been told they cannot go there next term. Sir Bernard said 22 parents living near the school but outside the catchment area had protested to the education department.
“Idiotic” – One child living 100 yards away in Stuart Close, has been given permission to go there in September. The others are still waiting to hear. Sir Bernard said until the authorities relented, the child was not even assigned to the next nearest school but to Cornelius Vermuyden on the other side of the island. Sir Bernard said: “I am incensed at the stupidity of it. I am entirely on the side of the parents.” Futherwick Park’s headmaster was willing to take the children. It was an idiotic situation. He said: “The arbitrary lines drawn up by bureaucrats prevent parents from exercising their choices of schools. Furtherwick Park is a superb school. The headmaster runs the school to the highest standards and parents know it”. Sir Bernard said the only way to imrove schools was by competition and legislation being introduced by the government would give parents more choice, But he said:” Out legislation will not be through until next summer and these children will have missed their chances”.
In a protest to Education Secretary Kenneth Baker, he said:” It is no reflection on other secondary schools on Canvey to say that a number of parents wish their children to go to Furtherwick Park because of that school’s excellent reputation. It is wrong in my view to condemn a child who lives outside the school gates to be sent to another school as far away from his home as the education authority can devise.” Sir Bernard said several of the parents had gone to Furtherwick Park.
“Flattered” – Head of the 1,125-pupil school Mr John Campbell said he was restricted by law to an annual intake of 180. But he said if any of the parents were successful in appeals t the educatiThey are nonsense. Building on the island has changed considerably since they were agreed”.
“Panels” – A county council spokesman said the admission arrangements foron authorities he would be delighted to accept their children. MR Campbell said:” I am flattered that parents want to send their children to my school. But I recognise the difficulties that my area education officer has in managing the admissions process.” Mr Campbell said catchment areas were a politically sensitive issue. He said: “ Furtherwick Park had only recently been approved by the Education Secretary. For the coming September, 149 children were from the catchment area; 22 had brothers or sisters already at the school; one was a special case for medical reasons and eight from outside the catchment area had been accepted as being nearest the school. The spokesman said four places had become vacant by pupils not taking them up. Individual appeals were being considered by two independent panels, the second of which would sit this week. The panels could override any previous decision. The spokesman said:” We nee to fix an approximate level of admissions to the school so it can best organise its education for the year. Otherwise that school has difficulties in catering for those numbers. We are keeping Sir Bernard up to date”.