Milton Keynes school expansion: Council supports plans eight months after parents set up petition

Parents petitioning for Oxley Park Academy to be expanded alongside leader of the Conservatives Edith Bald and Tattenhoe ward councillor Geetha Morla.
Parents petitioning for Oxley Park Academy to be expanded alongside leader of the Conservatives Edith Bald and Tattenhoe ward councillor Geetha Morla.

Parents who petitioned for a school expansion after their children were refused a place last year have gained support from Milton Keynes Council.

Last year the Citizen reported that 38 children had been refused a place at Oxley Park Academy in September because they did not live within 320 metres of the school.

“Credit must go to the local parents and campaigners on this matter.”

Councillor Norman Miles

Now, eight months on, the council has announced plans to support the school’s governing body in seeking an extension to the funding agreement they have with the Education Funding Agency (EFA).

Councillor Norman Miles, cabinet member for children and school improvement said: “I am delighted that we have found a way to move forward on providing extra school places for this area.

“One of our key goals is to be able to provide a place at a good local school for every child in MK, even when we are faced with squeezed budgets and a growing city.”

“Credit must go to the local parents and campaigners on this matter.”

The council was persuaded after parents presented their concerns to full council, followed by the Labour cabinet last year.

If successful in seeking an extension to the funding agreement, Oxley Park Academy will be able to expand onto a new school site on Shenley Wood by September 2016.

Tory group leader Councillor Edith Bald, who represents Oxley Park, said: “We are so delighted that the plans for the expansion of Oxley Park Academy are now firming up.

“This marks the end of a long campaign to provide badly needed places for children in Oxley Park.”

> Watch last year’s video interview with the parents petitioning for the school to be expanded, here.