Watford MP Richard Harrington has confirmed that plans are being put in place to offer 30 new St Clement Danes School places to families living in close proximity to the new Croxley Green School in 2016.
Mr Harrington recently met with the Headteacher of St Clement Danes in Chorleywood, Dr Josephine Valentine, and the Cabinet Member for Education, Chris Hayward, to discuss what could be done to help Year 5 parents who had intended to apply for the Croxley Green School in September 2016. Croxley Green School had originally planned to open in 2016 in Baldwins Lane, with many parents from Cassiobury, Croxley Green, Nascot Wood and other parts of Rickmansworth and Watford supporting its application. The school was recently given the go ahead by the Department of Education (DfE), but with the condition that it opened in September 2017 instead of 2016. The reasons given for this change were that new forecasting showed there would be enough secondary school places in South West Hertfordshire in September 2016, plus the DfE felt more time was needed to secure the site in Baldwins Lane. Mr Harrington has since met with parents who were unhappy at the decision, and he has discussed the situation with Dr Valentine, Hertfordshire County Council, and Lord Nash at the Department for Education. As a result of these talks, St Clement Danes School will make an application to the Secretary of State for Education to vary its admissions arrangements for 2016 to allow the 30 extra places created through school expansion to be allocated to families living within close proximity to the Baldwins Lane site. St Clement Danes School will expand to accommodate the extra students. Mr Harrington said: “Having spoken to many of the parents affected, I know they were particularly keen on this new free school because of its location near to their homes, and the fact that it would be run by St Clement Danes which is such an outstanding school. I am sure parents will welcome the news that a new class of entry will be set aside at St Clement Danes for their children in 2016. “This is a very new development, and there will be more information released in due course, but I wanted to let parents know as soon as possible that this was on the table. I will ensure that parents are kept fully updated.” Dr Valentine added: “We know parents were bitterly disappointed that the Department for Education decided the new school would not open in September 2016 so St Clement Danes School Governors will make an application to the Secretary of State for Education to allow 30 extra places to be available in 2016 to those families in close proximity to the Croxley Green site. “This change to the admissions process will be for one year only because our aim is to have the new Croxley Green School opened on Baldwins Lane for September 2017.”