Following my recent campaigning efforts over past weeks, in tandem with parents, Thrapston Town Council and the local NNC ward councillors, Wendy Brackenbury, David Brackenbury and Geoff Shacklock, I was very pleased to receive a substantive update from North Northamptonshire Council earlier today, confirming that the longstanding link between Thrapston, and the surrounding villages with Prince William School has been recognised in respect of the new policy, and that provision will be made accordingly for these pupils, who would have otherwise been affected.
You can see below a statement from North Northamptonshire Council that I have received, that clarifies the position more fully. This comes after a well organised and productive campaign that drew together the parents of children that would potentially have been affected and their elected representatives at all levels, making the case for a common sense fix. I am also grateful to NNC's leadership - elected and officers alike - for listening and taking this very welcome step. Listened, campaigned, delivered!
"Following the Executive meeting on 12 July, at which the Councils new Home to School policy was considered, Executive members approved the policy but requested that council officers continue to work with key stakeholders to make sure that the impact on the residents of Thrapston and the surrounding area was minimal.
Having completed the review, the council can now confirm that Prince William School is deemed to be the nearest ‘suitable school’ for children living in the Thrapston and Islip area. In accordance with the Department for Education’s (DfE) definition, a school may be considered 'suitable' if a school which is geographically nearer is full.
Whilst Thrapston is nearer to Manor School than to Prince William School, Manor School regularly has limited spare capacity and therefore is not suitable for supporting the significant demand for school places from pupils living in the Thrapston area. Parents applying to Manor School from the Thrapston area are likely to be considered as lowest priority in Manor School’s admission criteria: ‘Children who live outside the designated Priority Admission Area.'
In conclusion, parents from the Thrapston and Islip areas who state a preference for Prince William or Manor School, and meet the other criteria within the Home to School transport policy, will be eligible for free transport to school.
Parents should be aware that there is still time to make applications for a place in Year 7 in secondary schools on September 2024. The closing date is 31 October.
*Parents are able to change an application that they have already submitted, but they MUST remember to re-submit if they go into the system to check or change their application. Any unsubmitted applications will not be considered as on time and they will not be processed until after National Offer Day (1 March 2024)."