While I was out campaigning in Norreys numerous residents raised concerns with me about the Foundry College, the behaviour of some of it’s pupils and about it’s proximity to the neighbouring Ashridge Nursery & Keep Hatch Primary School.
I raised these concerns with the former leader of Wokingham Borough Council and, following several weeks of discussion and exploring of possibilities the decision has now been made that the Foundry College will be relocated as soon as a suitable new facility can be constructed in a different area. Clearly this is not something that can be done overnight, but, in the mean time, the following has been agreed.
Over the summer a new mesh fence as well as a six foot high hedge will be constructed around the existing premises. In the short term the school premises will be expanding into a neighbouring facility, although it is important to note here that no additional pupils will be attending the expanded site. The expansion is purely to allow for more space for the existing number of pupils and therefore allow much easier control of the existing pupil’s behaviour.
Two sites have already been identified for the new, purpose built facility, and a decision on which will be announced shorty. Until the construction is completed the Assistant Director of Eduction at WBC will be setting up a focus group, made up of local residents and representatives of the college, nursery and primary school, the purpose of which will be to ensure that the interim solution is a success and any issues are quickly resolved.
I am delighted that my colleagues and the Wokingham Borough Council officers have been able to work so quickly to make this decision. Schools like the Foundry College play an essential part in our education system, but the location of the Foundry College was never ideal and Norreys residents were unsurprisingly concerned by it. I am pleased to have been able to help them and to help get this decision made.
A specific moving date will be dependent on the completion of a new facility. I will keep you posted as soon as I know.
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