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Headteachers at Stamford Welland Academy and Casterton College Rutland set out views on how to address education in Stamford

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Headteachers have opposing views on how to address concerns about secondary education in Stamford.

Parents are calling for action after 33 children missed out on a place at either of their preferred schools.

Casterton College was over-subscribed meaning many pupils have been offered a place at Stamford Welland Academy instead.

Carl Smith, principal of Casterton College Rutland
Carl Smith, principal of Casterton College Rutland

Headteacher Vicky Lloyd has urged parents to “give the school a chance” while the principal at Casterton, Carl Smith, has submitted a bid to increase his pupil numbers.

Mr Smith said 271 pupils selected Casterton College as their first choice for September, but there is only space for 210.

He has applied to the Regional School Commissioner and the Regional Headteacher Board to take an extra 30 pupils, but Lincolnshire County Council has refused to back his bid.

He said: “It’s incredibly frustrating that parents in Stamford seem to have a much lower chance of getting their preferred school. It suggests something is badly amiss.

“We are more than happy to take extra pupils but we need the accommodation to be there. If the county council would support our bid, that would solve the problem.

“We’ve got the space to expand and have been extremely successful in the last few years.

“We think we’ve got a lot to offer and parents obviously do too. Why shouldn’t children have the best education possible? Surely that’s what we all want?”

Vicky Lloyd, headteacher at Stamford Welland Academy
Vicky Lloyd, headteacher at Stamford Welland Academy

The council’s director of children’s services, Heather Sandy, says there is no need to expand Casterton’s numbers.

She said: “Approval has already been been given to expand Stamford Welland Academy. To add even more secondary school capacity in the area at this time would create too much capacity too soon.

“It is important to plan and deliver additional capacity when it is needed, without creating surplus capacity, using the availability of resources as efficiently as possible.”

A decision on the bid is expected by the end of the month.

Mrs Lloyd, the headteacher at Stamford Welland Academy, doesn’t want to see it approved. She fears it would jeopardise the future of her own school.

Stamford Welland Academy has been designated for sixth form provision, but needs to boost its pupil numbers for the scheme to be viable.

She said: “The school still carries the old reputation of Queen Eleanor and parents don’t give Welland a chance.

“It’s really frustrating given the amount of hard work going into transforming the school. We are in a completely different place now and I’d encourage people to come and look for themselves.

“I’m a mum and I know how important it is for parents to choose the right school for their children, but I’d encourage people to give us a chance.

“The amount of opportunities coming our way in the next few years makes it a really exciting time for us and a great time for anyone to join our school.”

  • What do you think? Email your views to: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

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