40 parents and young people from Edenbridge will make the journey
to Maidstone on Monday 18 March to hear Kent County Council's
decision on the future of Eden Valley School.
will join representatives from the Edenbridge Vision Group, specially
formed to focus on the future of the school, as well as other
representatives from the local community, to listen to the debate
at Sessions House, Maidstone as Kent County Council's Cabinet
makes its key decision about whether to close the school.
Vision Group has suggested the following alternative proposal:
Continuing to support the existing school by keeping it open for
a further year so that the proposed Edenbridge Community College
concept (see press release entitled 'Community sets out a vision
for Edenbridge') becomes a reality in September 2003
Providing Local Education Authority Officer support to work up
a Fresh Start proposal for September 2003
Approving and providing an ongoing commitment to enhanced community
provision at the school including the refurbishment of the Astor
Centre and some parts of the school premises.
Start is designed to replace a school that is in special measures
with a new school. The purpose of the programme is to help schools
to re-establish themselves in their local community, to bring
good practice into their operation and to become a successful
school, achieving high standards.
Jill Davison, Sevenoaks District Council's Member for Edenbridge
North says: "It is encouraging to see members of the
community becoming so involved with the future of Eden Valley
School. They have worked hard towards campaigning for a healthy
future for the school and the Cabinet's decision will be crucial
for the town."
Marshall of Eden Valley Parents' Action Group says: "It
is essential that KCC decide to retain the school. If they close
it, students who currently go there will have to be transported
to other schools 10 miles away. This will result in disruption
to their teaching, which will particularly affect those students
studying for their GCSE exams. There will also be increased travel
costs for students and other associated costs such as new uniforms
which we expect KCC to pay for."
of the school could also lead to the loss of accommodation for
community groups who use the school premises.
representatives are also campaigning for improved community facilities
on this site either by refurbishing the Astor Centre or by having
a new centre.
Vision Group believes it is essential for KCC to commit continued
investment to meet education and community needs in Edenbridge.
more information contact Merle Bigden, Sevenoaks District Council's
Head of Community Development on 01732 227285.
to editors: In the DETR Index of Deprivation 2000, the two wards
of Edenbridge South and Edenbridge North are in the top 6% of
wards nationally for education, skills and training and ranked
10th and 11th in the 331 wards in Kent. Edenbridge North is ranked
3rd in Kent for truancy.
Edenbridge Community Appraisal 2001 demonstrated the views of
the community on a range of issues. Key issues reflected in the
Appraisal were highlighted by respondents who considered the following
to be important or very important: