Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Following a meeting with a group of Wheathampstead parents whose children have been allocated places in a secondary school in Hatfield, Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, promised to work with Councillor Derek Hills to help them obtain places in schools in Harpenden and St Albans.

    Peter Lilley said: “It has been understood ever since the closure of Wheathampstead School that local parents would have access to Sandringham or, failing that, to other schools in this District. Experience this year makes it all the more important to increase the capacity of popular schools in Harpenden and St Albans. And it strengthens the case for giving Wheathampstead parents access to Sandringham.

    “Unfortunately there has been a lot of irresponsible scare mongering about the proposal to include Sandridge in the same priority area as Wheathampstead. I can well understand the concern of Marshalswick parents who have been told that none of their children will any longer have access to Sandringham or even to other local schools. That claim is simply false. We are talking about finding places for a very small number of pupils from Wheathampstead ? 9 this year and fewer than 20 at its worst ? who have been allocated places outside the District under the old system which penalised village children. I am assured that the proposed change would mean that it is virtually certain that all Marshalswick children would continue to get places in Sandringham, Beaumont, Verulam or St Albans Girls School.

    ?The overall effect of the proposed change will be to ensure that no children from St Albans District have to go to distant and unpopular schools in Hatfield
    and that fewer children from outside St Albans District would be allocated places in our schools.