Primary school wants to relocate to new site

Bicester Advertiser: Hilary Webb Hilary Webb

WebbA £2M scheme to relocate an Oxford Catholic primary school has moved a step closer.

Consultation has begun on the plan to move Our Lady’s Primary School in Oxford Road, Cowley, to a vacant site next to St Gregory the Great School in Cricket Road.

Under the plans, Our Lady’s would expand to take 60 children each year, 15 more than the current intake.

Headteacher Hilary Webb said: “The site we have occupied for the last 80 years is wonderful, but it is very tight and we have very little space.

“The main incentive is to give us potential to grow physically and to become a larger school – we cannot do that on this site.”

Proposals were announced at the beginning of this year after a vacant site next door to St Gregory the Great School became available.

While it would normally be the Roman Catholic Diocese of Birmingham’s responsibility to pay for such a move, pressure on school places in Oxford is such that cash would also be available from Oxfordshire County Council to bring the buildings up to scratch.

The move could take place as soon as September 2013, but Mrs Webb said it was not yet known if the school’s catchment area would change. Being located next door to St Gregory’s would offer opportunities to share some facilities and resources with the secondary.

The building earmarked for the relocated school has previously been used as a school in the 1970s, and is likely to need substantial renovation after suffering water damage.

Mrs Webb said: “We don’t yet have answers to all the questions that are going to be asked. That is why we are consulting.”

Parents at the school gates had mixed views about the move.

Catherine Willis, from Littlemore, who has a seven-year-old child at the school and a four-year-old due to start there in September, said: “I’m not bothered either way. To me it has its pros and cons.”

Lisa Pagano, from Iffley, who has two children at Our Lady’s and one at St Gregory’s, said: “Parking down that road is an absolute nightmare.

“Apart from that, it probably is a good thing because the children get used to being near St Gregory’s.”

Saj Malik, who represents the area on the county council, said: “We would welcome the move but at the same time the school has to work with the parents to make them aware of their parental duties.

“There are issues already with the access which can be quite chaotic and it will not help to have more children on site.”

A meeting will be held at the school on Tuesday at 6pm and consultation will end on Friday, June 1.

To respond to the consultation visit our-ladys.oxon.sch.uk County council education chief Melinda Tilley will decide whether to approve plans by Eynsham Primary School and Orchard Meadow Primary School in Oxford to expand.

She will make the decision at her delegated decisions meeting on Monday at noon.

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:14pm Thu 10 May 12

AUTUMN DAYS OXFORD says...

As long as it is the best for the children. I was there in th 60s still have great Memories and met some wonderful people, good luck
As long as it is the best for the children. I was there in th 60s still have great Memories and met some wonderful people, good luck AUTUMN DAYS OXFORD

9:53pm Thu 10 May 12

LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG says...

AUTUMN DAYS OXFORD wrote:
As long as it is the best for the children. I was there in th 60s still have great Memories and met some wonderful people, good luck
And I'll bet that you weren't driven there in a Chelsea Tractor either.
[quote][p][bold]AUTUMN DAYS OXFORD[/bold] wrote: As long as it is the best for the children. I was there in th 60s still have great Memories and met some wonderful people, good luck[/p][/quote]And I'll bet that you weren't driven there in a Chelsea Tractor either. LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG

2:24pm Sat 12 May 12

Virginia Moffatt says...

Dear Autumn Days and other readers of this article,

We parents have been told no decision has been made about the future of Our Lady's but that an opportunity has arisen to help ease the pressures on the site.

A move sounds like a good idea until you examine the facts which are as follows:

The funds available fall far short of the amount required.
The most basic refurbishment costs have been quoted as £2.4million, but this wouldn't do half the job (& that's without architects fees, plans and contingencies).

The building has been further damaged by recent floods with
40% of the roof being compromised and the gym and first floor being damaged.

The site is on a flood plain and when it was a school it was constantly flooding.

The new site would only occupy half the building. It is unclear who is occupying the other half of the building.

The current site is secure and set back, the new site is next to a cycle path and has an exposed fence that overlooks it. I understand there have been drug dealers around in that area.

The Diocese of Birmingham have said that there are other solutions to the overcrowding of Our Ladys such as using some of the funding to build on other sites. This is clearly a much simpler and less disruptive option.

The current school is supported by the parish of Our Lady's and the Salesian Sisters. Together they provide youth clubs and catechetics classes for the children helping them in their Catholic formation. These links help create the positive ethos of the school and are likely to be shattered by a move.

Cricket Road already experiences heavy congestion in the mornings. This will be increased significantly by a further 400 parents trying to get their children to primary school.

Our Lady's is an excellent loving school that works well for the local population. It should stay where it is and the Diocese should use the funds to extend on other sites where it is possible to do so.

I firmly believe this proposal is not in the best interests of the current and future children of the school and sincerely hope the governors vote to abandon it following consultation.
Dear Autumn Days and other readers of this article, We parents have been told no decision has been made about the future of Our Lady's but that an opportunity has arisen to help ease the pressures on the site. A move sounds like a good idea until you examine the facts which are as follows: The funds available fall far short of the amount required. The most basic refurbishment costs have been quoted as £2.4million, but this wouldn't do half the job (& that's without architects fees, plans and contingencies). The building has been further damaged by recent floods with 40% of the roof being compromised and the gym and first floor being damaged. The site is on a flood plain and when it was a school it was constantly flooding. The new site would only occupy half the building. It is unclear who is occupying the other half of the building. The current site is secure and set back, the new site is next to a cycle path and has an exposed fence that overlooks it. I understand there have been drug dealers around in that area. The Diocese of Birmingham have said that there are other solutions to the overcrowding of Our Ladys such as using some of the funding to build on other sites. This is clearly a much simpler and less disruptive option. The current school is supported by the parish of Our Lady's and the Salesian Sisters. Together they provide youth clubs and catechetics classes for the children helping them in their Catholic formation. These links help create the positive ethos of the school and are likely to be shattered by a move. Cricket Road already experiences heavy congestion in the mornings. This will be increased significantly by a further 400 parents trying to get their children to primary school. Our Lady's is an excellent loving school that works well for the local population. It should stay where it is and the Diocese should use the funds to extend on other sites where it is possible to do so. I firmly believe this proposal is not in the best interests of the current and future children of the school and sincerely hope the governors vote to abandon it following consultation. Virginia Moffatt

4:29pm Mon 14 May 12

LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG says...

Virginia Moffatt wrote:
Dear Autumn Days and other readers of this article,

We parents have been told no decision has been made about the future of Our Lady's but that an opportunity has arisen to help ease the pressures on the site.

A move sounds like a good idea until you examine the facts which are as follows:

The funds available fall far short of the amount required.
The most basic refurbishment costs have been quoted as £2.4million, but this wouldn't do half the job (& that's without architects fees, plans and contingencies).

The building has been further damaged by recent floods with
40% of the roof being compromised and the gym and first floor being damaged.

The site is on a flood plain and when it was a school it was constantly flooding.

The new site would only occupy half the building. It is unclear who is occupying the other half of the building.

The current site is secure and set back, the new site is next to a cycle path and has an exposed fence that overlooks it. I understand there have been drug dealers around in that area.

The Diocese of Birmingham have said that there are other solutions to the overcrowding of Our Ladys such as using some of the funding to build on other sites. This is clearly a much simpler and less disruptive option.

The current school is supported by the parish of Our Lady's and the Salesian Sisters. Together they provide youth clubs and catechetics classes for the children helping them in their Catholic formation. These links help create the positive ethos of the school and are likely to be shattered by a move.

Cricket Road already experiences heavy congestion in the mornings. This will be increased significantly by a further 400 parents trying to get their children to primary school.

Our Lady's is an excellent loving school that works well for the local population. It should stay where it is and the Diocese should use the funds to extend on other sites where it is possible to do so.

I firmly believe this proposal is not in the best interests of the current and future children of the school and sincerely hope the governors vote to abandon it following consultation.
Actually on second thoughts, with all the selfish parents that park on the School Markings and block the road outside the Swan for normal commuters, causing them delays on the way to work. The best thing is to demolish the school and move to Cricket Rd forthwith where they can block eachother in, and cause no delay for those that work for a living.
[quote][p][bold]Virginia Moffatt[/bold] wrote: Dear Autumn Days and other readers of this article, We parents have been told no decision has been made about the future of Our Lady's but that an opportunity has arisen to help ease the pressures on the site. A move sounds like a good idea until you examine the facts which are as follows: The funds available fall far short of the amount required. The most basic refurbishment costs have been quoted as £2.4million, but this wouldn't do half the job (& that's without architects fees, plans and contingencies). The building has been further damaged by recent floods with 40% of the roof being compromised and the gym and first floor being damaged. The site is on a flood plain and when it was a school it was constantly flooding. The new site would only occupy half the building. It is unclear who is occupying the other half of the building. The current site is secure and set back, the new site is next to a cycle path and has an exposed fence that overlooks it. I understand there have been drug dealers around in that area. The Diocese of Birmingham have said that there are other solutions to the overcrowding of Our Ladys such as using some of the funding to build on other sites. This is clearly a much simpler and less disruptive option. The current school is supported by the parish of Our Lady's and the Salesian Sisters. Together they provide youth clubs and catechetics classes for the children helping them in their Catholic formation. These links help create the positive ethos of the school and are likely to be shattered by a move. Cricket Road already experiences heavy congestion in the mornings. This will be increased significantly by a further 400 parents trying to get their children to primary school. Our Lady's is an excellent loving school that works well for the local population. It should stay where it is and the Diocese should use the funds to extend on other sites where it is possible to do so. I firmly believe this proposal is not in the best interests of the current and future children of the school and sincerely hope the governors vote to abandon it following consultation.[/p][/quote]Actually on second thoughts, with all the selfish parents that park on the School Markings and block the road outside the Swan for normal commuters, causing them delays on the way to work. The best thing is to demolish the school and move to Cricket Rd forthwith where they can block eachother in, and cause no delay for those that work for a living. LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree