Let’s make sure there are the school places needed

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Thousands of parents across the area will have been on tenterhooks yesterday morning.

They were waiting for the e-mail or letter telling them whether their child had won a place at the school they chose.

Many will have got their first choice and many others will have been happy with their second choice.

But the fact remains that the system is straining under the pressure.

And, although each year will vary, the number of places has to match the demand.

If the shortfall is allowed to grow it will lead to disappointed families and, perhaps more importantly, wider problems in the system because those pupils have to be placed somewhere.

And it could have a knock-on effect on the long-term prospects of the youngsters if they are faced with long journeys to and from school.

Which is why it’s with some dismay we bring you the news today that the proposals to build a new school on the site of King Richard School in Paulsgrove are facing a £2m funding shortfall.

The government has agreed to put in £9m but it is now asking the council to pay £2m. Without the extra cash, it will only be able to take 900 students, rather than the 1,080 spaces currently available.

We can only echo city council leader Donna Jones when she says she is disappointed with the stance the government has taken.

There are fewer things that are more important to a young person than their education.

It can shape them and offer them opportunities they never thought would have been open to them. So it’s not something that should be messed with.

We can only hope that this situation is resolved sooner rather than later so the youngsters of this area can get the education they deserve.

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