New Schools located at Manor Drive, Gunthorpe, will open ……


Manor Drive

During our door knocking exercises this year, one of the big questions from residents living along or just off Manor Drive relates to what is happening with the plan to build schools at the location.

So at a previous Full Council meeting I stood up and asked the Leader of the City Council what they had planned.

He told me that the Paston Primary, which includes 1 Form of Entry (i.e. 210 pupils) has an estimated opening date of September 2018, while the Paston Secondary School, which will have a maximum of 8 Forms of Entry (1200 pupils + a 6th form) is targeted to open September 2019.

You might also remember reading about how the Council went back on their original agreement to provide a certain percentage of affordable housing in the Manor Drive area?

The reason they did this is because they were desperate for a new secondary school and therefore wavered the affordable housing provision in lieu of the provision of land for a new secondary school.

Don’t forget that the same Tories who closed down HoneyHill, Bretton Woods etc are the ones now desperate for school places!

Then of course …………. there’s the question of how will the City Council ensure that the area isn’t invaded by parking parents at certain times of the week?

Wasdale Gardens

I’ve recently become a Governor at Gunthorpe Primary School!

Gunthorpe Primary School

I’ve recently had the pleasure of becoming a School Governor at Gunthorpe Primary School, and following my first meeting, I have to say I am encouraged by the commitment and ideas shown by other members of the board.

I’ve been a governor before at Ken Stimpson, and earlier in the year, at a committee meeting, Council Officers were highlighting the need for more people to become governors.

So I put my name down.

Now I can assure you that I am not short of things to do, but playing a positive role in the education of local young people and helping promote the good work done by the local school, was far too much of an attraction to not take up the challenge.

Gunthorpe Primary School2

Lib Dems Pupil Premium policy has given hundreds of thousands of £’s to schools in this area


The Liberal Democrats have certainly got a lot of stick for taking part in the coalition government between 2010 and 2015, but, it was certainly not all bad! Especially when it comes to providing support for schools like Norwood, Gunthorpe, Werrington and Welbourne Primary Schools!

The other year I was appointed to a special group at the Town Hall which aimed to improve city schools and managed to get cross-party agreement to make ‘pupil premiums’ and their impact locally one of the group’s first priorities.

As a result, details of the what and where the pupil premium gets spent on is now published on the schools’ websites!

The Pupil Premium is additional funding given to schools so that they can support ‘disadvantaged’ pupils. It aims to help these pupils do at least as well
in their education as the rest of the children in the school.

The Pupil Premium was one of the key measures argued for by Liberal Democrats during the negotiations that set up the coalition government.

The Pupil Premium is extra support for the children who need it the most, whether it is catch-up classes, one-to one tuition, extra IT support – whatever
the school thinks best.

Fewer children falling behind means less disruption in class and a better education for everyone. Therefore, it is important that the city council understands how local schools are spending their premium.

  • The Pupil Premium was one of four policy priorities that the Liberal Democrats put on the front page of their 2010 General Election manifesto.

Links to each schools pupil premium reports

  • Welbourne Primary School – There pupil premium has rises from £36,000 in 2012/13 to £94,000 in 2015/2016
  • Norwood Primary School – In 2014/15 received £51,000, which was spent on things like providing school uniform vouchers, higher level teaching assistants to deliver English booster groups in Year 2 and Year 6 and purchased additional electronic reading resources to engage pupils and improve rates of reading progress in Year 4…… to name but a few things!
  • Werrington Primary School – In 20154/15 the school received £78,000, and children received additional teaching support and help as a result.
  • Gunthorpe Primary School – Has so far received £222,640 and have used the money on awhole range of things to help those children who most need it!


  • REMEMBER if you have a comment on this or anything else to do with Peterborough City Council, please post it below!
  • Don’t forget that the elections to Peterborough City Council, take place on May 5th and you can vote from 7am until 10pm (and you don’t need to take your ballot paper).
  • Not sure where your polling station is? No worries, to find out simply enter your postcode here!

West Town Primary to relocate on former hospital site (Thorpe Road)

Peterborough District Hospital site
Peterborough District Hospital, built in continuous phases between 1960 and 1968 and including, from 1970, Peterborough Maternity Unit. SOURCE

So ….. building work has started on a new primary school on the former hospital site on Thorpe Road, Peterborough.

Although technically, it’s NOT a new school, as the new building will house West Town Primary Academy who are relocating from Williamson Avenue.

The Council says the new building will open in 2016 (presume September?) and provide places for 630 pupils – double the number at the existing site.

So hopefully, it will help out a little with our city’s impending school places shortfall over the coming years?

The £6 million project is part of the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme, a scheme launched under the Liberal Democrat/Tory coalition and provides an opportunity for the City Council to try and take as much credit for, as possible!

SHOCK HORROR! The building works are being carried out by Kier Construction that local firm, based in Sandy, Bedfordshire – who also got the £9,500,000 project for the POSH ground, the £24,000,000 Stanground Academy building project, the £14,250,000 Nene Park Academy scheme …… to name but a few!

The council will be contributing £500,000 to help finance the cost of the school build and around £1.5 million towards associated works around the completion of the school.

Don’t panic though, the Tory controlled City Council haven’t just found some pounds down the back of the couch! No, they’ve borrowed the money once more, which means we’ll all be paying this back over the next 15 years 🙂

At least they have respected the historic Memorial Hall, as it will be maintained as a lasting memorial, and I’ll be interested to see how the new school being used as a “modern community hub” works out, too?

School website:

Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust website:

Kier Construction website:

As always, I’d welcome your comments or thoughts below! 🙂

Teacher training opportunities available in Peterborough

​​Schools across Peterb​orough are working together to provide training opportunities. If you are a graduate and want to complete your training in a school environment apply to Teach East.
​​Schools across Peterb​orough are working together to provide training opportunities. If you are a graduate and want to complete your training in a school environment apply to Teach East.

Teaching opportunities are available in Peterborough to graduates who train under a scheme run by Peterborough City Council.

The Peterborough Teacher Training Partnership, in partnership with the University of London, is looking for graduates to train to become a teacher in schools in Peterborough.

The Teach East scheme has been training teachers for over a year and many people have completed the course and are now teaching in schools across the city. As new schools are built and existing schools continue to expand the council needs more teachers to keep up with increasing demand.

The council has successfully recruited many trainee teachers for the next intake, starting in September, but there is a particular shortage of those wanting to teach key secondary subjects in local schools. The council needs graduates from chemistry, design technology, languages, maths and physics to train to teach children aged 15 to 16 years old.

Chris Clayton, principal lead at Teach East, said:

“Our Teach East project is a fantastic opportunity for graduates to re-train and start an exciting career in teaching. We offer great support, training and development options and the long-term career prospects for teachers in Peterborough are clearly very promising.

“If you are a graduate, are looking to perhaps change careers and are interested in a career in teaching please get in touch as we would love to hear from you. Not only could you get a new job, with great prospects, but you’ll be helping local children make the most of their potential too.”

For more information visit:

Enjoyable Q and A session with students from St John Fisher School @sjfpeterborough

With students and head teacher Sean Hayes.
With students and head teacher Sean Hayes.

I had an enjoyable chat recently with students from St John Fisher, after receiving an invite from the school’s head teacher to take part in a question and answers session.

I was pleasantly impressed with the students knowledge of politics and the present nation issues and policies, of the major parties.

From the response that I received directly afterwards and subsequently on-line, it seems that I made a pretty positive impact?

St John Fisher Catholic High School is the Catholic secondary school for the Peterborough area.
St John Fisher Catholic High School is the Catholic secondary school for the Peterborough area.

One of the nice comments I received afterwards was this one:

“My niece was there. She and her friends were well impressed with you. She said your performance persuaded some of them to vote Lib-Dems.

“Their least favourite was a certain Stewart Jackson. No surprises there!” (Source)

It’s a shame a few more schools in the city do not undertake a similar exercise in order to encourage interest amongst their students?

The school has some 750 students aged 11-18.
The school has some 750 students aged 11-18.
  • To view the full range of photos from the day please CLICK HERE!
  • To visit the schools website please CLICK HERE!

More funding for local schools @WPS_school

Outside Werrington Primary School
Werrington Primary School is one of the leading schools in Peterborough!

When the Lib Dems were elected to government in 2010, one of their highest priorities was to tackle the school funding problem here in Cambridgeshire.

It is simply unforgivable that local schools were receiving £600 per pupil per year less than the national average – the least of anywhere in the Country.

It is a great shame that Labour chose to ignore this underfunding during their 13 years in government.

That is why I’m extremely proud that, from April, local schools will receive an extra £23.2m each year in funding – money that will significantly improve the quality of education for local children.

This would not have happened if local people had not supported the Liberal Democrats!

I along with my Lib Dem colleagues, will continue to campaign for a long-term fairer funding formula for schools, fighting for an immediate increase in schools capital funding for us so that our school buildings can keep pace with increasing demand; be it building extra classrooms or modernising existing facilities.

Providing our schools with more funding for resources through a fairer funding formula, the Pupil Premium, and better classrooms will mean pupils, especially those from poorer backgrounds, get the support they deserve.

Remember to let me know your thoughts below!

Aged 16-19 …… recently left School/College? Check out the @CCPBoro Options Event!

City College Peterborough

Are you 16-19? Have you recently left School/College and not sure what to do next? Pop along to the City College Peterborough Options Event.

Monday 9th February 2015 3pm-6pm at the John Mansfield Centre, Western Avenue, Dogsthorpe, Peterborough PE1 4HX

Come along and discuss your options including:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Childcare
  • Office Skills
  • Business Admin
  • Customer Service
  • IT
  • Motor Vehicle
  • ESOL
  • Construction
  • Catering
  • Health & Social Care
  • Hairdressing
  • Courses designed for students with learning disabilities e.g. Metalwork
  • Step-Up to your success programme
  • Traineeships
  • Sport

To find out more call 01733 555197 or email

#Werrington Children’s Centre de-designated after costing Council £87,362 a year! @Welbourneschool


At the latest meeting of the City Council’s Creating Opportunities and Tackling Inequalities Scrutiny Committee, Liberal Democrat, city councillor, Darren Fower, was told Werrington Children’s Centre, would now come under the control of Welbourne School.

The move, we understand must be finalised before September 2014.

Council Officers said that at present the cost of services at the centre, to the local authority, was around £87,362 a year.

In the report presented to the Scrutiny Committee, it stated:

Welbourne Primary School to have control over the building and become the anchor tenant. In doing so they will use some of the children’s centre space to extend the school, locating the reception class in the building.

The full cost of maintaining the building will be the responsibility of the school and these costs will be supported by rental income from:

• The pre-school provider that operates from the building;

• Peterborough Learning Partnership having Werrington as their administration and, potentially, their delivery base;

• Ad hoc rental income from organisations that want to use the space.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Darren Fower told us:

“The cost of running the building will now become the responsibility of the school. The hope is that the co-location of the reception class next to the pre-school will improve transition arrangements?

“I made it clear at the meeting, that I wanted assurances local residents should experience very little inconvenience, that the facility must be available to local groups and ownership of the building should remain with the City Council.

“In a later report that evening, we discovered the Council were eyeing up the North of the City, as a place for pupil overspill from elsewhere in the city. So with that in mind, I’m also keen to ensure that local children do not miss out on progressing to Welbourne Primary School when they reach the right age.

“I also asked about assurances that the plan to cover the financial cost was viable and that we would not simply see a complete use of the pupil premiums to cover the Tory Council’s cuts in services.”

Additional Information:

  • Peterborough Learning Partnership (PLP) will be based in the building which will mean that there will be a constant presence in the centre and will militate against issues with health services around ‘lone working’ arrangements.
  • PLP has also suggested that they will want to deliver some training programmes from the building.
  • According to Peterborough City Council, “Initial concerns voiced by parents during the consultation period around continuing to access early years’ services locally have been mitigated through the securing of appropriate tenancy agreements for the de-designated centres. These tenancy agreements with identified tenants will secure the delivery of the core entitlement offer as identified above from each of the dedesignated centres.”
  • The report states that the full cost of maintaining the building will be the responsibility of the school and these costs will be supported by rental income from the pre-school provider that operates from the building; Peterborough Learning Partnership having Werrington as their administration and, potentially, their delivery base; and ad hoc rental income from organisations that want to use the space.

Well done to those parents who do walk with their children to school! @pcctravelchoice

Commenting, local Lib Dem ward councillor, Darren Fower, said:

“Over the past 20 years, the percentage of children travelling to school by car has doubled, almost 40% of primary and 20% of seconday age children are now driven to school each day.

“In Peterborough, this factor was exacerbated by the Tory controlled City Council, when they closed down perfectly good schools a few years ago, eventually flogging off land for housing or supermarkets, such as Bretton Woods and Honeyhill.”

The school run can mean significant cost implications, with families spending over £300 annually on the drive to school in petrol costs and wear and tear to the average car.

Children who walk to school learn more about their local environment – they find out who their neighbours are and make friends as they chat to other children on the way to school.

Werrington Primary School

  • View YOUR local schools travel plan by CLICKING HERE! 
  • Nearly half (48%) of children would like to walk or bike to school even more if they could, says a new survey carried out by a specialist child research agency, ChildWise, in partnership with the Department of Transport (DfT) in 2004.
  • The younger children who walk use about 75% of the number of calories travelling to and from school that they would from two hours of PE.
  • The older children use over one third more in walking than they do in two hours of PE, especially the boys.

What do YOU think? Please leave a comment below!