Admissions issue exists after just one year at new Heathcote School

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Parents who have unsuccessfully applied to have their child attend Heathcote Primary School in September are campaigning for a second reception class to be added at the new site.

The new school, which is part of the Community Academies Trust, welcomed its first pupils at the beginning of the current school year, and it is said is oversubscribed by more than 30 pupils for admissions into its reception class at the beginning of the next year.

This includes those who live within the Heathcote catchment area and their parents are now seeking help to see if their children can still attend their first choice school.

Karen Raby-Calvert, who lives in Warwick Gates and whose daughter is now on the waiting list for the school, said: “Heathcote Primary school was heavily oversubscribed.

“There are 34 of us on the waiting list so far and more to come once late applications are added in.

“The school has empty classrooms now - 34 of us want to send our children to Heathcote. Second form intake this year would fix this.

“How do we make this happen?

“They say it is due to expand with demand - there is demand now.”

Karen has outlined the benefits a second class would bring to both those parents on the waiting list and also the community as a whole.

These include the environmental and health benefits of parents being able to walk their children to and from the school, the ‘community’ spirit that having all children living within Heathcote’s catchment area at the same school and the increased likelihood of siblings being able to attend the same school.

Karen, who has lived in Warwick Gates for six years said: “Who agreed to build so many houses, around the Warwick Gates estate without thinking of the facilities needed?

“The local school is now oversubscribed in its second year of intake.”

Karen was also unsuccessful in getting her daughter into Bishop’s Tachbrook Primary School - the second-choice school she had picked while Whitnash, also nearby, was also oversubscribed.

She and other parents have formed a Facebook group called Heathcote Primary School second reception class Sept 2018, from which they will co-ordinate their campaign to have the second class added.

Some parents have also written to Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western to see if he can help with the matter.

A message from the school on its Facebook page says: “We are aware that we are heavily oversubscribed for our reception 2018 class and subsequently some parents may be disappointed that they have not secured a place.

“Warwickshire County Council manages pupil places in the area as a whole, the admissions authority for Heathcote Primary School is the Community Academies Trust, who determine the published admissions number of the school in consultation with the local authority.

“This will then go to consultation and the second phase of building will begin.”

“We think this will be within the next few years but have no clearer information than that as of yet.”

**In response to the issue of Heathcote Primary School’s reception class being oversubscribed for the next school year, Warwickshire County Council has said: “Heathcote opened in September 2017 as a one-form entry school to provide places for the additional children expected as a result of housing development in the area.

“The opening of this new school is the first of several new schools planned for the South Leamington / Warwick area as part of the housing developments which are currently approved and being built.

“The opening of those new schools and the expansion of Heathcote Primary School will be coordinated in line with the housing build-out to ensure there are enough school places available for families moving into the area.

Heathcote Primary offered 30 places for reception September 2018 entry and places were allocated in accordance with the academy’s published admissions arrangements. “The school has proved very popular with parents in the area and currently has a waiting list.

“All children in the area, who applied on time, have been offered places in local schools for September 2018.”

On its website, the county council has said that Heathcote Primary School was opened to meet the demand of pupils arising from housing developments in the area of Warwick and that it is designed to expand to two forms of entry as housing developments in the area grow.”