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Crawley school students launch petition for change as funding cuts threaten their education

The change.org petition has been launched by some students at Thomas Bennett Community College and already has over 200 signatures.

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The school has been in the news over the past few months due to the funding cuts by TKAT.

With teachers leaving the school and residents community meetings being held with councillors it has been and continues to be a turbulent time for all associated with the school.

Now some students have taken it upon themselves to launch their own petition aimed it seems at changing the school for the better.

The students say:

“We are Students that are currently attending Thomas Bennett. We are undertaking our GCSE’s and are month’s away from exams. With limited welfare support throughout the school, such as a medical room assistant or a pastoral support assistant for each year we are struggling tremendously with the way the school is run due to low funding.”

The student who has launched the petition also mentions how he emailed the CEO of TKAT raising his concerns but was told it ‘wasn’t in their hands and overall should stop talking about it’.

Whilst the petition does not mention it there is a feel that the aim is to bring the school back into public sector as stated by Crawley Council leader Peter Lamb who has show his support of the petition.

The petition states:

“Over the years Thomas Bennett has struggled with funding, only to which this struggle became increasingly more difficult when the academy, TKAT, took over our school. Profit not students success is what this academies aim is and large group of students including me are ready to do whatever needs to happen for something to change! Whether that’s a whole year walkout or a strike with the whole school. “

It adds:

“A walk out is something TKAT does not want to face especially with media coverage and limited time for year elevens, a whole year will not just get bad qualifications with missed time but will also reflect on the education that is being provided for students by this school run by the academy.”

The very fact that students themselves have now made the decision to make a stand shows how passionately the pupils feels about their educational needs but a viable outcome still seems distant.

A spokesperson from the Kemnal Academies Trust commented,

“We welcome our students’ active involvement in their education and the Trust has been working directly with the students at Thomas Bennett.

Funding is a national issue for Education affecting all schools, with the West Sussex “worth it” movement taking a leading part in the campaign to improve funding for all schools”.

The petition can be read here.

Education

Now’s the time to apply to for your child’s secondary school place in Crawley

Families with children due to start secondary school in September 2020 can now apply for places online.

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Applications will be open until Thursday 31 October 2019.

Parents should apply for their child’s secondary school place by the deadline. Applying after the deadline will seriously affect the chances of your child being offered one of your preferred schools.

The quickest and easiest way to get information and apply is online: www.westsussex.gov.uk/school-places but those unable to apply online can request a form by calling 03330 142903.

The secondary school application online process is quick and simple, and an automatic email will acknowledge that the application has been received. Free use of computers with internet access is available in all West Sussex libraries.

Tips to remember when applying for secondary school applications: 

  • Parents are encouraged to apply for up to three schools and must list them in order of preference.
  • A child is not guaranteed a place at a school just because they are in the catchment area. Parents will need to select the catchment school as part of their application for it to be considered.
  • Those who miss the deadline for applications must still submit an application form, as a child will not automatically be allocated a school.

Richard Burrett, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills said:

“This is an important step for children and their families, and we want to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible. I would encourage all parents to submit their applications on time to give us the best opportunity to meet your preferences for your children. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Admissions Team.”

Primary or junior school applications

Applications for children due to start primary or junior school in September 2020 open on Monday 7 October and close on Wednesday 15 January 2020, more details to follow.

West Sussex County Council staff are available to advise parents on the admissions process. Parents can telephone 03330 142903 or email the Admissions Team North at admissions.north@westsussex.gov.uk or the Admissions Team South at admissions.south@westsussex.gov.uk.  

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