News - Increase in School Places over the Years in Bournemouth

NEW - 28th May 2012

NEW - 28th May 2012

Councillor Ron Whittaker to letters@bournemouthecho.co.uk
26th May 2012

Sir last Saturday, I attempted to put the issue raised by the two gentleman [Bournemouth Daily Echo 18th May 2012] in some form on context regarding schools. Which I would have thought would be of interest to echo readers.

Councillor Ron Whittaker

Councillor Ron Whittaker to letters@bournemouthecho.co.uk
19 May 2012

Sir,

One does not in any way disagree with the detail letters from FR BARNES Pastoral area and Dr Gray, [Bournemouth Daily Echo 19th May 2012] regarding the how a number of Catholic Primary Schools have programmed for addition classes. That is fully recognised, and we must all accept that some of our excellent church Schools have yes very limited scope for expansions, interesting due to the recent publicity one church School has just written a very honest fact finding letter requesting that their school be seriously looked at for expansion.

Looking back to 1977 when I was on the County Council the then Education officers were not support of my call for a Primary School within the area of Shillingstone drive, I as always hold all reports from those days, we had then some 8.6 acres of land available, [owned by the developers], they were prepared then to convey to the authority before 31st December 1984 at market price for Education purposes, again I had no support, it was only in 1984, 7 years that the County Council then decided to include to build a I.E.. 5-11 PRIMARY SCHOOL, BUT DUE TO INCREASING LAND COSTS, the site for the school was reduced to 4 acres, one then further hurdle to overcome funding, so it was with considerable relief in 1985 the Winchester Diocesan Council wrote to Dorset County asking that the Muscliff project be promoted as a voluntarily aided Church School, which was then to re-address the proportion of church Schools and relieve pressure on nearby St. Johns.

Finally through the great support I received from the late Chairman, Cllr John Ironmonger, the committees approved by one vote [Thanks to John] an interest free loan to the Diocesan council to overcome the difficulties facing the church authority, so yes today we have that very special Church School EPIPHANY.

But again in later years 1995, when the ever rising pupil numbers and housing developments in North Bournemouth were taking place, need again showed for another Primary School. But this then did not come without objections from other schools, again I hold all the reports/press cuttings from 1996, even with objections the land was secured in Broadway lane for a magnificent then 1.F.E primary school, know as Muscliff Primary.

The story is what would of happened to School places if I AND OTHERS HAD FAILED TO SECURE THE LAND PURCHASES, FOR BOTH OUR Muscliff Schools!!!!!

Cllr Ron Whittaker
Independent Throop and Muscliff Ward