Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Village Fault Lines Appear...

and they're nothing to do with the recent UK earthquake.

Last week it was announced that around 17 children from Addingham Primary School were not allocated places at Ilkley Grammar School. The impact of this on the local village community is likely to be large.
Whilst the Ilkley Gazette article last Thursday touched on some of the issues, there is a danger that the fact that the children are being offered places at Greenhead school in Keighley will raise the spectre of racism due to its' location and catchment area.

Ilkley Grammar School has been the school of choice for children in the Wharfe valley for a long time, in fact some people would be hard placed to determine a state-run alternative. The Staff at IGS have worked hard to provide exemplary teaching standards in a school wanting for space and investment from Bradford Met. The school is regularly one of the highest achievers in the district and even attracts sixth-formers from the private schools in the area.

However, space is limited and now there are not enough places for this years prospective attendees. The end result is heartache for local children who are now told they can't go to their school of choice alongside their classmates because of where they live in the village. At the time of blogging this, there was no evidence of similar issues in Burley or Ben Rhydding.

A line has effectively been drawn within the village.

How will this affect the education of those affected?
Unfortunately, Greenhead is under "Special Measures" and the other offered alternative of Airedale has only just come out of "special measures" - significant for those school's existing pupils let alone the families of children who expected to go to the local Wharfedale school.

How will this affect housing?
Well, spookily Addingham has always been seen as feeder school for Ilkley Grammar and people have moved into the village to take advantage of this (there's a surprise)...the recent decision is likely to have a significant impact on housing decisions in future years!

How will this affect the village?
Alongside the house price apartheid issue, initially I thought it would split the village but now we seem to be seeing a pulling together of the community in opposition to the decision and the future ramifications.
There's a meeting at Addingham Primary School on Thursday 13th March for concerned people to meet with Education Bradford.

I'm sure I'll reurn to this issue in the near future.