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Public survey open for the Heights Primary

People can now have their say on a permanent home for the Heights Primary in Reading Credit: The Heights Primary

The Public Survey phase of the on-going consultation to find a permanent home for The Heights Primary School is now open.

The survey opened at 9.30am this morning and can be filled in at

The Government’s Education Funding Agency (EFA) has selected five possible sites for a permanent location for the school and has asked Reading Borough Council to carry out a public consultation on its behalf.

The Public Survey is now the opportunity for people to tell the EFA which of the five sites they prefer, and the reasons for their choice.

The EFA’s five preferred sites are:

  • High Ridge, Upper Warren Avenue
  • Mapledurham Playing Fields
  • Albert Road Recreation Ground
  • Shipnells Farm (better known as Bugs Bottom)
  • Dysons Farm (Land at the junction of Shepherd’s Lane and Kidmore Road)

The Public Survey is open for just over one month and the deadline for responses is 5pm on Friday May 1st. When the survey is complete, Reading Borough Council will pass all responses to the EFA. It will then be up to the EFA to select which location for The Heights Primary School it will pursue, based on public responses received.

Residents filling in the Public Survey are also being asked to provide a name and address. This is so that the EFA can take all geographical data into account when making a final decision on the permanent location for the school.

For people without access to computers, hard copies of the Public Survey are being made available at the Civic Offices in Bridge Street, and local libraries and leisure centres.

Meeting to be held over future home for Free school

A public meeting is due to be held on the search for a permanent home for a Free school in Reading.

The Heights Primary is a Free School in Reading Credit: The Height's Primary

The Heights Primary is a Free School, currently located on a temporary site in Gosbrook Road, Central Caversham. Under Government rules, only the Education Funding Agency can select where a Free School can be located.

The EFA has identified five possible locations. They are:

  • High Ridge, Upper Warren Avenue
  • Mapledurham Playing Fields
  • Albert Road Recreation Ground
  • Shipnells Farm (better known as Bugs Bottom)
  • Dysons Farm (Land at the junction of Shepherd's Lane and Kidmore Road)

The Council is sending out 67,000 letters across all of Reading Borough and the Parishes of Mapledurham and Kidmore End, with details of the consultation process.

An independently chaired open public meeting takes place at the Rivermead Leisure Centre at 7pm.


School expresses 'deepest regret' over shot put injury

The Judd School in Tonbridge has expressed its deepest regret over the an accident in which a student was hit on the head by a shot put thrown by another student.

It is a relief to all that the injured student has been attending school full-time since September.

The Judd School accepts the verdict of the Magistrates’ Court today that it has breached the Health & Safety at Work Act. In particular the School’s organisation of the PE lesson in which the incident occurred did not fully comply with the guidance of the “Association for Physical Education”.

The School has been fined £10,000 for this breach.The Judd School provides an extensive programme of PE, Games and competitive sport, enjoying a national reputation in rugby, cross-country and athletics having won National Schools’ trophies in each in recent years.

The safety record is exceptionally good; however this incident has led to a major review of safety by staff and governors. We have re-examined all our safety procedures in PE and are in the process of doing the same across the whole school.

– The Judd School

Makeover complete at Bodleian libraries

It's cost eighty million pounds and taken three years to finish but one of the world's leading research centres has had a major overhaul. The Bodleian libraries in Oxford are home to some of the most important books and manuscripts in history. From tomorrow, for the first time, one of its finest buildings along with its rare collections will be open to the public.

The Oxford Bodleians form the largest university library system in the country with more than 11 million printed items. The plan was to modernize the Grade 11-listed New Bodleian building and create a state-of-the-art facility for researchers to work with the special collections.

Five years ago a purpose built storage centre was constructed 30 miles away in Swindon. Millions of books were moved there as refurbishment work began. Now the volumes and manuscripts that are in high demand from students and academics have been moved back along the A420 to Oxford and are filling shelves in the renamed Weston library.

The building was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott - the architect behind Waterloo Bridge and Battersea Power Station and he designed the iconic red telephone box.

Millions of pounds have been spent bringing this Bodleian into the 21st century. After it opens its doors this weekend, millions of people will be able to enjoy the atmosphere of library that holds a special place in academic history.

Portsmouth selected for new technical college

A new university technical college, which will cater for 14-19 year olds, has been approved by the government today.

More than 600 school places will be created in Portsmouth, as part of a £67 million cash boost nationwide to support the next generation of engineers.

The college will work together with the Royal Navy to train up future generations to become engineers and manufacturers and help the local economy's growth.

Portsmouth is set to benefit from today's announcement surrounding a new technical college in the city Credit: ITV

The new university technical college is set to put local employers in the driving seat – allowing them to develop technical learning plans that will ensure young people have the skills to meet the needs of these growing industries.

The plans announced today will raise standards in maths and physics further to ensure more children leave school with these valuable skills and can go on to compete for the top jobs and succeed in life.

We want to attract more high quality candidates to teach maths and physics and further raise the status of teaching as a rewarding career. By offering more flexible routes, we will open up the teaching profession to talented career changers who can bring a wealth of experience and transferrable skills to the classroom."

– Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary


  1. National

Cameron pledges 500 new Free Schools under Tories

A Tory government will open hundreds of new free schools across England by 2020 under a major expansion of the policy, David Cameron will declare today.

The plan to open at least 500 of the schools, which can be set up by community groups including parents, charities or teachers, will mean an extra 270,000 places at the institutions which were introduced as part of former education secretary Michael Gove's reforms.

Cameron pledges 500 new Free Schools under Tories. Credit: PA

If you vote Conservative, you will see the continuation of the free schools programme at the rate you've seen in the last three years.

That means, over the next parliament, we hope to open at least 500 new free schools resulting in 270,000 new school places.

– David Cameron's speech in London

Mr Cameron's plans for a major extension of the policy if he remains in Number 10 come as the Government announced that 49 more free schools have been given the green light in the final wave of approvals before the election.

  1. National

NUT rejects conclusions of report on Free Schools

The opening of a Free School was associated with substantial improvements of the lowest performing primary schools nearby in every year apart from 2010, a report by the think tank Policy Exchange said.

And at secondary level, the opening of a Free School was associated with improvements for all secondary schools with below average results.

The NUT does not accept the conclusions of this report.

The findings claimed by the authors are not supported by the 'evidence' presented in the report itself and the authors themselves admit that no link can be made between the cause and effects that they nevertheless seek to claim for the Free School policy, stating: 'It should be obvious - but bears setting out explicitly - that such data cannot demonstrate conclusively that any changes seen are as a response to the new Free School'.

– Deputy general secretary Kevin Courtney

The National Union of Teachers (NUT) said it did not accept the conclusions of the report.

  1. National

Free Schools are 'raising standards,' report claims

A report published today claims that Free Schools are raising standards for other pupils across the local community, especially in some of the poorest performing schools.

Free Schools are raising standards report claims. Credit: PA

Competition is driving up standards at both primary and secondary level, undermining one of the key criticisms of opponents of the new schools, says the report by the think tank Policy Exchange.

The research looked at results in the three geographically closest 'similar' schools to the 171 relevant Free Schools opened so far.

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