Monthly Archives: December 2017

Village school to become academy

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The Duke of Bedford School is planning to convert to an academy.

If the application is approved, it will join forces with five other local schools in a multi-academy trust.

Staff and parents were told about the plans in November and there will be a consultation evening arranged with parents where they can ask questions.

Converting to an academy means the school is no longer under the control of the local authority – in this case Peterborough City Council.

Instead, schools are being encouraged to join together to form multi-academy trusts (MATs) and be self-supporting.

The Duke of Bedford School plans to work with Church of England schools in Eye, Castor, Newborough and Peakirk as well as All Saints’ School in Peterborough.

Eric Rayner, chair of governors, said government policy was pushing all schools to become academies and the move was inevitable.

“All secondary schools and the majority of primary schools in Peterborough are academies. We have held back until now because we wanted to find the right schools to work with, schools where we would be equal partners, which shared a similar ethos and were local to the area.

“We didn’t want to be pushed into a large chain, where we would have lost our identity and where a highly paid chief executive would be more concerned about the size of his company car than children’s education.

“Our school won’t be renamed, we’ll keep our uniform and we’ll keep our identity. We will also have a strong voice on the new MAT, with one of our governors on the board of trustees and another as one of the foundation members.”

The school and the new multi-academy trust now have to go through a conversion and set-up process with the government. It’s expected this will take around six months to complete.

Cathy Bailey, Headteacher at the Duke of Bedford School, said she believed the move would strengthen the school and provide children with a better education.

“There will be increased opportunities for children and staff to work together across the six schools and share resources and expertise,” she said.

“All schools in the group were rated good in their last Ofsted inspections, we are forward thinking and outward looking, and we believe these changes will maximise the outcomes for our children.”

 

Thorney United

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Thorney football clubs – senior and junior – are looking to merge to form one single club.

The merger is critical to gain official support to fund a new pavilion in Thorney Park.

The three councillors representing Eye, Thorney and Newborough on Peterborough City Council met with football club representatives in October to try to find a way to get things moving.

The city council owns Thorney Park and is responsible for maintaining facilities. Thorney FC now plays in the Premier Division of the Peterborough League, but they are unable to play home games in the park because facilities don’t meet the conditions required by the league.

Quotes for replacement changing rooms have come in at about £200,000 and although grants are available from the Football Association, the club needs to show it is able to raise some of its own cash before it can apply successfully.

Nigel Simons, newly elected city councillor, said he was confident that decent facilities could be provided for much less than the £200,000 quoted, but he said it was important that existing football clubs banded together to give them more weight.

“All of this is possible, look at the magnificent job Thorney Rugby Club has done. They have got a fantastic clubhouse.

“I’d like to think that with some help from the council, which will come from the sale of the old community centre and library, plus grants from the FA and wind farms, there could be new changing rooms by 2019.”

Neighbourhood Watch scheme for village?

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A village-wide Neighbourhood Watch scheme is being proposed following a number of burglaries and incidences of vandalism in Thorney.

The woman behind the plan is Parish Councillor Samantha Godley. She suggested the idea on the Thorney’s Facebook forum and now wants to see if the village is behind it.

Samantha plans to hold a public meeting in January where people will be able to find out more.

“The idea came about following the vandalism in the cemetery, along with recent burglary attempts in the area,” she explained. “Quite a few people showed interest in the scheme, so I wanted to try and catch those in the village who perhaps haven’t seen the Facebook post or don’t use Facebook.”

Neighbourhood Watch involves members working together, alongside the Police, sharing concerns and observations, reducing crime and fear of crime and looking out for each other.

“Our scheme would cover the village and those living on the droves, if they wished to join. It would include homes, businesses and our park and cemeteries,” said Samantha

Some of the benefits are:

  • Members looking out for each other, even when they are away.
  • More awareness about local crime – with updates as and when they come through.
  • Feeling safer in your neighbourhood.
  • Potentially discounted home insurance, maybe 5-10%.
  • Access to further low-price crime prevention items, such as purse bells.
  • Feeling less isolated (possibly more so for those living on the outskirts of the village).
  • Older residents may feel re-assured and comforted knowing people are willing to help them if they need it.
  • New residents and families may feel re-assured, knowing that people are looking out for them.
  • Academic Research has shown that Neighbourhood Watch Schemes can reduce crime.

Sam says although signage in Neighbourhood Watch areas is recommended as a deterrent, it is not essential. Those who join could display a window sticker instead which can also be a deterrent.

Joining the scheme is free.

“I am planning a meeting in January for those who are interested to find out more.  One of the Peterborough Neighbourhood Watch Representatives will be there to answer questions.”

Samantha says she will put posters up and advertise the meeting in the Thorney Post Community Forum Facebook page when she has a date and time confirmed.  In the meantime, people can contact her either by email samgodley@hotmail.co.uk or 07572 876311.

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