Re: Coaches ,Townley Road ,obstruction ,pollution when will it change ?
Posted by goldilocks
November 25, 09:57PM
I see a lot of comments attributing the lack of local children attending these schools to the improvement in state schools locally. Whilst its certainly true there has been huge improvement and that prior to Charter North being opened, a significant number of local children may have gone to private secondary schools, I don't think this is the full picture.
Alleyns, JAGS and DC are very well renown schools. If you look at their annual fees now compared to 20 years ago its clear that they have been able to increase fees significantly in excess of inflation year on year (whilst keeping scholarships fixed at a static level as an absolute £ level rather than % of fees). Add to that the increased burden of housing cost for local families (again comparing housing costs locally now vs 20 years ago) and you can see why Alleyn's, JAGS, Dulwich College etc have fewer and fewer local children attending.
Whereas 20 years ago, reasonably well off middle class families could afford the fees with a few sacrifices, now such schools are becoming the preserve of the very wealthy (plus those kids eligible for bursaries - so essentially a polarised intake. Therefore its hardly surprising that the net for these schools is cast more widely. There is also the fact that given their reputations, there is high competition despite the points outlined above.
All of this said though - it is not clear why the Foundation schools need to continue to thrive economically should be more relevant than local residents quality of life. By all means cast the net for pupils widely, expand if you wish - but in doing so there is an associated level of social responsibility. JAGS and Alleyn's currently claim that 'they can't do anything more' to encourage parents to switch off engines whilst waiting, stop parking in cycle lanes, on double yellow lines or on zig zags. Instead they are requesting more enforcement by Southwark Council - enforcement which is paid for by those of us living in the borough and not those attending the schools. This is exactly the type of issue they should be tackling head on, by educating their pupils on the issues, by patrolling the roads outside their schools and asking parents to switch off engines, not park illegally etc as well as going much further to address the impact on air pollution and road danger that they bring to our area, rather than pushing this off onto external bodies.