Opposition to new academy in Spalding for ‘challenging or vulnerable’ children
A petition has been launched against plans for the South Holland Post 16 Centre to become an academy educating children outside of mainstream schools.
Plans by South Yorkshire educators Wellspring Academy Trust to open a centre for ‘challenging or vulnerable children and young people’ were reported in the Lincolnshire Free Press two weeks ago.
We live opposite the Post 16 Centre and it’s an absolute bottleneck in the mornings and afternoons so the prospect of kids coming to and from the academy in taxis is going to make the traffic problem even worse
A public meeting about the proposed Springwell Academy Spalding, in Matmore Gate, is taking place at North Kesteven District Council’s offices in Sleaford tomorrow from 5pm until 7pm.
But Lisa and Richard Tweddell, who live near the Post 16 Centre, claimed that Wellspring have failed to consult properly with people living near the proposed academy.
The Tweddells, who have two children, believe Springwell will add to existing traffic congestion, partly due to cars used by sixth form students at Spalding High School, and cause safeguarding issues.
Lisa said: “I don’t think people know much about it and there’s a worry about all of the traffic that will be brought to Matmore Gate.
“Children will be coming in private hire taxis to be met by escorts at the door and this is something we need more information about.”
Plans for Springwell, which will offer 63 ‘alternative provision’ places for children aged five to 16, include the creation of a multi-use games area by reducing the number of parking spaces from 59 to 44.
Both the games area and car park will be available for community use after school hours of between 8.45am and 2.45pm.
Richard said: “We live opposite the Post 16 Centre and, due to the traffic from Spalding High School, it’s an absolute bottleneck in the mornings and afternoons.
“This makes it impossible to drive down the road so the prospect of kids coming to and from the academy in taxis is going to make the traffic problem even worse.
“Also, we can’t see why they couldn’t have used the Post 16 Centre for the consultation meeting tomorrow when people working, or who have transport difficulties, will be unable to get over to Sleaford for 5pm.
“Is the facility going to concentrate on local children or are they going to be brought in from other areas?
“What about questions of security and safeguarding for us as parents with two children of our own?
“We’ll want assurances that the academy isn’t going to cause problems for them as it’s a very specialised school where there must be a risk element involved.”
The Free Press approached Wellspring for a comment but no one was available at the time of going to press.
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