Consultation

A summary of responses to the Funding Agreement consultation about the proposed St Andrew the Apostle Greek Orthodox School

It is a statutory duty for the Trust opening a Free School to consult widely, within its community as to whether it should enter into a Funding Agreement (FA) with the Secretary of State for Education to open the school.  Essentially, the Funding Agreement is a contract between the school’s trust and the Secretary of State to fund the school in the future.  The school’s Admission Policy for entry to the school in September 2014 forms part of that Funding Agreement and the trust took this opportunity to consult on this issue by way of a separate question.  The consultation document was placed on the schools’ website, emailed to everyone on our contacts database and circulated to other stakeholders, such as local schools (primary and secondary), local councillors, local churches and the local authorities in the area. The consultation ran for six weeks and concluded on 31st May 2013.

Responses to main question
A total of 43 responses were received.  All of these responses were from individuals: no responses have been received on behalf of organisations of any sort.

Of the 43 responses to the question as to whether the Funding Agreement should be entered into with the Secretary of State, none answered “no”, 7 “don’t know” and 36 “yes”

Comments - please note that grammatical and spelling errors in the responses have been faithfully reproduced.

There were 5 comments and all are reproduced below:

  • “The establishment of a Greek Orthodox Free School in this area is warmly welcomed”
  • “Information provided regarding the funding could be simplified with a more effective summary. There is far too much information to fully appreciate.”
  • “To whom this may concern I am a father of a year 5 girl.  I have been a very active supporter of this new school, since first reported.  As of my previous meetings priory to the last two, I was under the impression, that However, I am frustrated and upset that the school is now going to be situated in Barnet and not Enfield.  The change in the selection process, may result in our address being out of the catchment area.this school would be positioned in Trent Park.  Based on this information, we made a decision 2 years ago to re-located in Cockfosters, to insure that (name of student)i would be in the catchment area and secure a place in your school.For the last 3 years I have registered my interested and attend all meeting knowing that the school would achieve excellent and outstanding results. After meeting the Head Teacher and your team, I have recommended the school to other parents.  I want my children to grow up in the religious ethos and values your school is promoting”
  • “This would help to acquire the much needed facilities which will help the progress of all students”
  • “It would have been nice to know what we are supposed to be comparing the agreement to, and what are the pros and cons of this agreement and an alternative, so that the best interests for our children and school ”

Response to subsidiary issue/question, concerning Admissions Policy for 2014
Of the 43 responses, 9 said “no” to the Admissions Policy in its current form, 5 responded “don’t know” and 29 said “yes” to its adoption in its current form.

Comments – please note that grammatical and spelling errors in the responses have been faithfully reproduced.

  • “I stongly oppose any proposal in the future to limit entry to the school based on catchment area. The other aspect of this is the fact that in order for admissions by faith, there has to be regular attendance at church. What is meant by regular?  While my family's attendance is regular, there are mnay parents of other faith schools who manipulate this entry criteria by attending church because they have to a few months before any school application - what is the school's viewpoint on this?  I feel that subscription criteria 2 is far too broad and open to interpretation leaving this option open to all kinds of 'special' requirements being accepted.”
  • “I think more places should be offered on a Faith Criterion and Wider Faith Criterion”
  • “My son and myself are very much looking forward to being a part of this new school”
  • “As the 2013 policy was successful, I will support the existing model”

Summary
Despite widespread distribution to interested parties and stakeholders, the number of responses is relatively low. Most parents with children attending the school did not respond – despite their very active engagement with the school and headteacher designate.

On the primary question of should the trust enter into Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State, there is an overwhelmingly positive response from respondents, with 36 out 43 (84%) responses being “YES” and 7 (16%) responding “Don’t know”.  On this basis the Trust wishes to sign a Funding Agreement with the Secretary of State for this school.

Regarding the Admissions policy, 9 (21%) said “NO” to the suggested policy, 5 (12%) replied “Don’t know” – the remaining 29 respondents (67%) were in favour of accepting the current proposed policy. The proposed Admissions Policy is clearly acceptable to the community the school serves. 

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