Round House Capacity Campaign 

Round House18 Children on Love’s Farm were not offered a place in reception at The Round House Primary Academy school for September 2017 intake, with others who did not apply to the school and more expected following the second round of applications. These are four-year old children and their families who feel desperately let down by the County Council!

The Round House Capacity Campaign group has been set up with support from parents and families across Love's Farm. We are campaigning for Cambridgeshire County Council to expand the capacity of The Round House on a permanent basis. Portakabins will be required as a temporary measure in order to secure additional places from September 2017. The lack of adequate capacity at The Round House is something that should have been foreseen, and the County Council, town and district planners have let our children and the wider community down by not planning for school places.

  • Almost a third of Love's Farm children did not get their first choice compared with one in ten countywide
  • The furthest child from the school is just 409 meters away, one of the smallest catchments countywide
  • Planning for the access to the estate was approved with road access only from the south of the estate with the school at its centre. Children from the north of the estate are disproportionally disadvantaged and will drive past their community school to get to the closest alternative over two miles by road

The ‘real’ catchment area of the school is one of the smallest in Cambridgeshire and getting smaller each year and is now just 400 metres with children living further away unlikely to get a place. The geography of the estate means that children north of the school will drive past the school they are denied a place at to the nearest alternative school 2.1 miles away by road.
The lack of places at the school for Love’s Farm children is something that impacts the whole community and wider community of St Neots.
Children, including siblings, who are due to start school in the next few years may not get a place. There are wider social and economic costs to this. House prices will fall if potential buyers can’t get their children into the local school, and parents’ being forced to change working patterns and drive children to alternative schools has numerous repercussions on the road network, estate and town traffic, road safety, congestion, the environment, as well as the health and wellbeing of children and their parents who should otherwise walk to school.
Love’s Farm has developed into an amazing community with the school at its heart. The estate will continue to be attractive to young families due to the family orientated design of the estate with clear boundaries, quiet green open spaces, parks, great family homes, school, access links and community spirit.
Starting school is a huge milestone for a child and it’s distressing that children are not being given the opportunity to go to their local community school, with their friends, neighbours, and other children in their pre-school classes.
There is on-going demand for places in all years. This is a permanent proposal to increase capacity at The Round House Primary Academy school.
Love’s Farm Community Association, The Round House Primary Academy school, and Town, District and local County Councillors are in support of the proposal to expand to three form entry. The campaign to increase capacity at the school has received overwhelming support from parents, residents, and the wider community.
The petition to the County Council has over 200 supporters and has received wide coverage in the media on Look East and BBC Cambridge as well as through social media. Please join the Facebook group to show your support and sign the petition and get involved with the campaign to make a difference to our children's future.

Further information available here:

Emma Stevens, 02/05/2017