Danny Thorpe, Leader of Greenwich Council focuses on education

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Wyborne Primary School in New Eltham to open their new nursery building.

Thanks to a grant from the council, it is now providing more full-time places and extending its 30 hours nursery offer to even more working families.

Another school that is expanding to provide vitally needed school places is Plumcroft Primary – transforming to become one school across two locations.

The new school building in Vincent Road, Woolwich will be able to take 420 children plus a nursery.

As well as making sure there are enough school places in the borough, I also want to ensure that all children that are in need of free school lunches continue to receive them.

Our nutritionally balanced dinners have never been better, helping to give children a healthy meal that helps keep up concentration and energy but the Government is changing the rules if parents are on Universal Credit.

From October, it will be stopping ‘legacy benefits’, as it transfers millions of people over to the Universal Credit system.

If you are on benefits it is vital that you sign up now to free school lunches so that you protect your entitlement for the next four years – the money you can save will have a huge impact on your finances.

Applying for free school meals also helps support your child’s school as they receive additional money from the Pupil Premium to pay for teachers and teaching assistants.

Go to: www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals now to sign-up.

However, it is not just about providing school places and nutritional meals to make sure that children in the borough have the best start that they can – it is also about the air that they breathe and the devastating impact air pollution has on young people’s health.

The School Streets Scheme happening later this month will trial closing roads outside a selected number of primary schools, at pick-up and drop-off times, for six months to a year to make it safer and easier for children to walk or cycle to school.

Recent research by TfL shows that about a quarter of London’s weekday morning traffic is parents dropping their children to school – even though most children live within walking distance!

With our new school facilities and excellent Ofsted results, 94 per cent of all our schools judged Good or Outstanding, there has never been a better time to start school in Royal Greenwich.

The admissions process for children starting primary or secondary school in September 2019 is now open.

Secondary school applications close on October 31 2018 and primary school applications close on January 15, 2019.

Find out more: www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/admissions

The fantastic work that our schools do for our young people could be jeopardised though by cuts to schools’ funding with the reform of the Government’s national funding formula.

I want to hear from parents, students and teachers who are affected by the cuts.

Please email your stories to leader-office-admin@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

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