Local Education Authority has dragged its feet on schools places  Map 

Letter from Brian Edwards of the BSCF to the Herts and Essex Observer

The Editor
Herts and Essex Observer
12 North Street
Bishop's Stortford
19 June 2008

It is the duty of the Local Educational Authority (LEA) to ensure there are enough school places in the town. This they have failed to do and thus we are facing a shortage. The LEA own the site in Hadham Road which was zoned as a secondary school site and at 8.3 Hectares is big enough for a 6 form entry secondary school. Why have the LEA not committed to build a school on this site?

The Bishop's Stortford (Boys) High School badly needs better facilities; some of the porta-cabins have been there over 15 years but again the LEA has not allocated money to replace them. Why not?

The Governors of the BS High School believe they have taken the only route they can to solve this problem and arranged to sell their land to a property developer for houses in return for a new secondary school on Green Belt land off Whittington Way. In this they have been joined by the Governors of the Herts. & Essex High School. Was this to make the project viable? Do the Herts. & Essex High School really need new facilities? Is a 3,000 student campus the better option – see the comments by Peter Jenke in the Herts and Essex Observer of 1 May, 2008).

As a consequence, the Town will have to suffer 935 extra houses, many in areas already a traffic nightmare; Hockerill Road, London Road and Beldams Lane. Do we have any confidence in Herts. Highways to come up with a solution to this potential traffic problem? Not if the Jackson Square exit and Haymeads junction with Dunmow Road are anything to judge by.

All of this because the LEA have failed to provide funds for the provision of sufficient secondary school places in Bishop's Stortford. Why do we pay Council Taxes, a large portion of which is allocated to education, if some of it does not come back to the town?

Brian Edwards
BSCF Committee Member

P.S. I am not a Governor of either school.