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School relocation is a bad move for pupils
10:00am Tuesday 15th May 2012 in Letters
I SINCERELY hope the proposals to move Our Lady’s School don’t take a step further forward.
My understanding as a parent is that the school is consulting us about whether to go ahead with the decision to move.
While I appreciate there is a problem with over-subscription of school places in Cowley, I do not believe that moving Our Lady’s is the right solution. This is a thriving school that works because it is integrated into the community and receives wide support from the priest and parishioners of Our Lady’s parish and the Salesian sisters next door.
Those links would be severely weakened by the relocation and I believe this will do incalculable damage to the ethos and spirit of the school. I also believe that small children need to learn in safe and secure environments. I do not believe walking to school among 15- and 16-year-olds will be anything other than terrifying for four- and five-year-olds.
It is my understanding from the recent consultation meeting that even without these objections, the £2m available wouldn’t meet the costs of the most basic refurbishment. Furthermore, I believe from my knowledge of capital projects that the real costs of refurbishment are likely to be nearer £3.5m and this is without the added costs of architects, plans and contingencies. During the recent rain, the building has deteriorated further, with the gym and first floor flooding and the roof becoming 40 per cent compromised.
As part of the consultation process, I will be writing to the governors of Our Lady’s to urge them to reject these proposals because they will be unaffordable and are not in the best interest of current and future pupils.
I would urge people to attend the public meeting on the May 15.
VIRGINIA MOFFATT, Wilkins Road, Oxford