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Campaigners call for changes to secondary education in Stamford

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Campaigners are calling for changes to secondary education after children were denied places at their preferred schools.

Only 68 per cent of Stamford’s 11-year-olds have been offered a place at their first choice of school, falling far short of the 88 per cent recorded across Lincolnshire.

A group of parents and residents have set up a group to fight for more choice as a result of this year’s offers, while headteachers have set out what they want to do.

Stamford Welland Academy in Green Lane, Stamford
Stamford Welland Academy in Green Lane, Stamford

The parents group wants to see improvement made at Stamford Welland Academy to boost its reputation and make it a more attractive choice for future pupils.

Grandparent Richard Smith is among those to join the campaign.

He said: “Lincolnshire County Council seems to have dismantled secondary education in Stamford. It seems wrong that in a town of this size, people are having to look elsewhere for places to go.

“My grandson passed the 11+ but didn’t get a place at Bourne Grammar or Casterton.

Casterton College Rutland. Photo: Google (45036284)
Casterton College Rutland. Photo: Google (45036284)

“As a result, he’s not excited about the next stage of his education. Children need to want to learn. They should be energised. O ver a period of time we need to make Welland the natural choice for Stamford pupils to go to.”

Stamford Welland Academy has space for 150 pupils to enter Year 7 in September.

In the first round of offers, 140 places have been offered. Eighty-one of those children selected Welland as their first choice, 22 named it as their second choice and four children listed it in third place.

The remaining 33 pupils did not specify Welland on their application.

Heather Sandy, the director for children’s services at Lincolnshire County Council, said “The number of schools families have access to varies on where they live across the county, with some having more options than others.

“It is the local authority’s statutory responsibility to ensure there are sufficient local school places to provide an education for its residents.

“There are enough secondary school places to meet local need. Parents can apply to any school in the country if they wish to, but not all preferences can always be met and that varies from year to year between different areas.

“It is unfortunate that not all preferences can be met, but we are pleased to be able to provide all young people starting secondary school with a place at a good, local school.”

Anyone who would like to join the campaign group can email stamfordschools2021@gmail.com

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