School places: Education trust 'cannot solve' lack of places at Waverley Academy, near Sheffield

The chairman of the trust running Waverley Junior Academy says the school cannot solve a major shortfall of places for families on the estate.

Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 3:01 pm

Families have been left angry after it emerged dozens of children living on the Waverley estate, near Sheffield Parkway, on the former Orgreave coking plant site, had been turned town for places, after many had bought homes on the new estate because of the school.

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But at the official opening of the school, John Barton, chairman of the Aston Community Education Trust which run it, said there was nothing that the school could do to deal with the problem.

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Parents on the Waverley estate, pictured, near Sheffield Parkway, are angry that they have been unable to get a place at Waverley Academy. The chairm of ACET, the trust which runs the school, says the school cannot solve the shortage of places

He said: “As a trust, ACET always tries to offer places to all children whose parents/carers registered their academies as first choice. However, Waverley was seriously oversubscribed and there is currently no room to accommodate them.

“We genuinely feel for the children and their parents and families who have not been offered places, especially for those where the children have attended the Waverley nursery and made friends there. Unfortunately, we cannot do anything to resolve the issue.”

Class sizes in FS2 are restricted to a maximum of 30 children.

But the school said Rotherham Council had reported there had been 93 applications for the 60 places for pupils starting this September.

Mayor of Rotherham Jenny Andrews visited the school this week for the formal opening of the academy.

Although it actually first opened to pupils in September 2020, due to Covid restrictions the official opening has had to be delayed until now.

Waverley principal, Cathryn Keeton, took Ms Andrews on a tour of the new building, before she and invited guests enjoyed performances by some of the pupils before a commemorative plaque was presented to the academy.

There are thought to be 21 parents who live on the Waverley development were not allocated places for their children, with some now facing journeys of more than two miles to get to their schools.

Parents had called for a mobile building to be brought onto the site to serve as an additional classroom.

Rotherham Council blames the problem on the large number of young children on the estate. They used a national formula to decide places.

Waverley Junior Academy is one of two primary schools eventually planned for the development.