School issue splits North Bersted community

A PROPOSED new school in North Bersted has split a community.

Almost eight out of ten - 79 per cent - of the 58 written responses to an informal consultation about building a new Bartons Infant School and expanding Laburnum Grove Junior School approved of the idea.

But 19 per cent - nearly two out of ten - were against the scheme.

The remainder did not express an opinion.

The issues raised included:

The possible loss of Bartons’ small school ethos and an increase in journeys to school.

The potential loss of the good nursery provision at Bartons.

Parents would like the right to express a preference to transfer to either school and for journeys to school and the need for siblings to be together to be taken into account.

Possible lack of parking and future use of Bartons site; concerns, mainly from neighbours, about the site’s development.

The outcome of the initial information gathering exercise was reported to West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for education and schools, Peter Griffiths.

He has decided to continue with the procedure to create the new school by publishing notices to change the character of the existing schools.