Call for Handforth to get its own senior school

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The Governors of a local primary are calling for a secondary school to be opened in Handforth.

Governors at Handforth Grange Primary School believe Handforth needs its own secondary school to meet the increasing need for secondary places in the area, to ensure that children from Handforth don't need to travel by train each day to school and to allow children from Handforth to continue to be educated together.

They believe it will create a seamless link between primary education, Inclusion and Special Educational Needs provision and Emotional and Mental Health support to ease transition to High School.

Additionally the Governors feel it will continue the development of Handforth as a destination of choice for outstanding education and a place where local families are proud to educate their children and ensure that parents have a choice of Secondary providers and can choose a smaller High School for their child if they wish.

Headteacher Mark Unwin said "Myself and the Governors have long-held a view that Handforth as an area would benefit from having a secondary school - for continuity of education; to provide school places to meet local need from housing growth in the area; to increase parental choice; to reflect increased civic pride in Handforth and to provide much needed local, sports and leisure facilities.

"Many parents have publicly and privately expressed their support, so we are consulting more widely to ascertain the level of interest locally. Providing there is sufficient support, the school, working in partnership as the lead school in the Frank Field Education Trust, will petition the Department for Education."

Do you think a secondary school should be opened in Handforth? Share your views via the comment box below.

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Handforth Grange Primary
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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Raymond Walker
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 6:50 pm
This is an excellent suggestion. Wilmslow High School is far too large and is more like an educational village. The ideal size for a secondary school is 800-1000 pupils because to is important that the pupils know all the staff and the staff vice versa. Children need to feel that they are part of a community and not be a speck on the landscape.
Grammar/High schools were amalgamated with Secondary Modern schools to form Comprehensives because there could be a wider curriculum with more courses to feed different interests and rolls increased in their early days to 1500 and above. Then the National Curriculum came along and restricted the curriculum again, so that large schools had no future justification for being large.
Wilmslow High needs splitting in to to form two smaller healthier schools but councils have not put money aside to think of an educational rainy day, only to pay for changing street lights to an unproven LED formula.
Handforth could make a worthwhile start here and I wish them well.
Richard Armstead
Wednesday 31st July 2019 at 10:21 pm
I totally endorse the Handforth Grange Primary School governors' initiative. Long overdue and this would help redress the educational imbalance in the area. Cheshire East Council consistently waits for a crisis to develop before Strategic Infrastructure get their act together.

Wouldn't it be lovely if CE Planning would only approve developer applications subject to prior infrastructure provision to accommodate more houses more people and more cars. Community Infrastructure Levies without a timetable for their use, as presently, will not hack it.
Lynne Prescott
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 12:18 am
Absolutely in agreement. wilmslow high is already oversubscribed and with theamount of new building going on around Handforth over the next few years, it seems eminently sensible to make local arrangements for secondary school education!
Alison Warburton
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 8:33 am
Agree Wilmslow High isn't able to cope but where in Handforth could a high school go? with all the house building planned, there's none for any more services for the increased number of residents...
Nick Jones
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 9:31 am
Much Needed..!
Simon Worthington
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 10:02 am
Many commentators on this page have been saying this for years. I thought there was talk of the deaf school site. What about some of the "Handforth Garden Village" which no one wants. Of course - no profit or copious ammounts of council tax in a school
Ron Atkinson
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 10:17 am
The building of a secondary school on the land behind Hampson Crescent would be a much better use of the site than building up to 250 houses.
Jon Newell
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 4:36 pm
Another post in this thread says that Wilmslow High School is oversubscribed - and I believe that it expects to be so for some years to come.

Two other factors need to be brought to the attention of those planning huge housing developments in Wilmslow and, particularly Handforth.

The closest high school to the site of the Garden Village is in Cheadle Hulme and therefore outside CEC. I understand from the SMBC councillor for the ward that this school is in that it is the most heavily subscribed in Stockport MBC area.

Another alternative is Knutsford. A number of Wilmslow children travel to Knutsford already. There are major housing developments in planned Knutsford and I know from sources at Knutsford Academy that they are looking forward to a time when they do not have to deal with bussing in children and become a natural and favoured choice for the Knutsford community. They will not have the room for those being bussed in.

Coordinated, joined up thinking is needed.

And a new high school in Handforth seems the obvious - indeed, the only- feasible solution.
Roger Bagguley
Thursday 1st August 2019 at 8:05 pm
Residents of Wilmslow (RoW) has long campaigned to have brought forward serious action to address secondary education in and around Wilmslow and Handforth and Alderley Edge. Wilmslow High School has long been over subscribed with those not able to get in having to travel distances to other state or private schools. Coming with this over subscription is the issue of access and ongoing problems for neighbours of the school caused by an ever increasing number of pupils travelling to the school by car. The RoW solution to the access problem has fallen on deaf ears so, having attended meetings on possible options, we favour a reduction in size of Wilmslow High School and the setting up of a new school in Handforth. This needs to be a joint venture between Cheshire East, Stockport etc. given the number of houses coming immediately on either side of the new A555 with the different authority Local Plans.

Enough time has been given to meetings and planning. It is now time to announce that the joint venture Handforth model will happen and where this will be built. With all available land around Wilmslow High School given over to ambitious plans to promote growth, and hopefully to resolve parking issues, Handforth is a no brainer.
Audrey Youngman
Wednesday 7th August 2019 at 7:14 pm
I agree with Simon Worthington and Ron Atkinson.

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