‘Parents’ Voice’ campaign for a new secondary school launched
Charlotte Leslie has united with local families in Henleaze, Stoke Bishop and Westbury-on-Trym to champion parents’ calls for the City Council to provide a new school in North West Bristol.
Charlotte has joined with local parents forming a campaign group – called Parents’ Voice – to gather parents’ views and opinions on secondary education in the area, and to lobby the council to meet the needs of local families.
Charlotte has also set up a high-profile online petition, which can be found at www.parentsvoice.charlotteleslie.com – where anyone can add their weight to the calls for the new school for North West Bristol.
Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Fiona Wisloff, a parent from Eastfield, said:
“I have three children, two go to our local primary, Westbury-on-Trym CE School which is a lovely school with a strong community spirit.
“Unfortunately there is no obvious choice of Secondary School in the Westbury on Trym/ Stoke Bishop/ Henleaze area.
“It feels that all the children in the area are bussed somewhere else for their secondary school experience.
“I have chatted with parents and the Secondary School dilemma is constantly on our minds. I can’t think of a week that it has not come up in conversion since my children started playgroup. It is very stressful.
“Parents at Westbury Park and Bishop Road are sending their children the new Redland Green School and we over this side of North West Bristol want somewhere we want to send our children.
“When is Bristol City Council going to deliver this for us? ”
Charlotte, who is also the Conservative Prospective MP for Bristol North West, added:
“I passionately believe in the need to improve Bristol’s poor educational performance.
“Critical to this is ensuring that Bristol families positively choose Bristol schools, which in this area means both helping local schools to improve, and meeting parents’ wishes for a new local school serving North West Bristol”.
Charlotte said that the campaign would initially be a “listening and scoping exercise to demonstrate both the level of need and to bring out solutions.”
Many Bristol North West children cut out of new school catchment
The campaign follows the city council’s decision to cut large swathes of Stoke Bishop and Westbury-on-Trym out of the catchment area at the new Redland Green School.
Last year, Charlotte submitted a petition containing more than 200 signatures of concerned parents to the council over the move, together with a full report using objective criteria to show why the catchment area should include Stoke Bishop and Westbury-on-Trym.
She argued that the area around Redland Green School was already well served by Cotham School, and is to have two more state schools as Bristol Cathedral School and Colstons Girls become academies.
However, the council dismissed her suggestions, and instead kept its original, controversial admissions brief.
The online petition can be found by visiting parentsvoice.charlotteleslie.com