Anger as Education to change Castel Primary catchment area
Monday 30th September 2013, 1:00PM BST.
SCHOOL catchment area changes for the Castel parish have been greeted with anger by affected parents and residents.
Fears ranged from their children now being forced to attend La Mare Primary School, instead of Castel Primary, to a risk that house prices will go down in affected areas. Those concerns were backed by a leading estate agent, who believed the change could reduce house values by as much as 5%, or more than £22,500 on an average property.
Education has outlined a likely change to the Castel Primary catchment area, which it expects to impose ‘regardless’ of the outcome of the States debate on school closures. Running roughly along L’Aumone, Rue du Friquet and Rue Cohu, the area is now likely to be absorbed into the La Mare de Carteret Primary school catchment area.
Residents have expressed their outrage at the ‘underhanded’ way the department announced the change – it was disclosed via a single bullet-point in its 39-page report on changes to primary education. One Meadow Court resident, who declined to be named but is expecting her first child, believed her unborn baby was now destined to receive a substandard education. ‘There is no way my children are going to one of the top failing schools in the UK. I paid the premium to live in Castel, so my children could go to Castel Primary and in one fell swoop they [Education] have stopped that from happening. They have just sneaked this through.’
Education countered the concern by saying that, for next year at least, there were no proposals to change catchment areas for secondary schools. It did, however, confirm that it intends to take a report to the States in 2014 on a new structure for secondary education. Depending on the recommendations in the document and the States’ decision, the department said ‘it is possible there may be changes to secondary catchments in future years’.