Free school in the news again

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The Free Schoolers

The proposed free school for the area was mentioned in the newsshopper today in an article by Mark Chandler which reveals that the growing population of the borough is putting pressure on primary school places, with apparently 300 pupils still without a school place for next September.

…Mum-of-two Mary Pfeiffer, who is setting up her own Shooters Hill Primary School of Arts, said she was surprised, having been told by the council that the borough had enough places.

She said: “This is something that frustrates me.

“One of the main reasons for wanting to set up the free school is parents have been having issues trying to get children into their choices.

“My children are now in Bexley – we couldn’t find a place in Greenwich for them to go.”…

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Oddly enough, the population projections in the 0-5 age range for Shooters Hill Ward predict a decline in numbers over the 2001-31 period.

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The borough wide projections tell a different story however, with an increase of almost 10,000 under 5’s in the 2001-31 period (despite a population fall recorded in the 2001 census).

In any case, the pressure on school places is going up, and with youngsters from across the borough coming to schools in Shooters Hill, the predicted reduction in numbers of local pre-schoolers will probably not aversely affect the case for the opening of the Free School, which will not have an explicit catchment area, and will in all likelihood take pupils from as far away as their families are prepared to make a school run.