This morning I was driving Ms Danivon to a hospital appointment (at Crawley Hospital, which is still there by the way) and we noticed someone filming a group of people walking up West Green Drive.
As I drove out of the Hospital, I stopped to let the same people cross the drive, and saw that it was a cameraman, a woman who looked like a reporter and another woman with about half a dozen kids, clearly on their way to school.
Later I see what it was all about. It seems that my old school, West Green Primary, has a bit of a problem. It has 7 year groups and 6 classrooms. Surely the geniuses that run WSCC Education Department might have noticed a slight flaw in that, when they reconfigured the schools in Crawley a few years ago?
When I was there as a pupil, West Green was a large Primary school, which attracted pupils from Broadfield, and had two buildings, one for the Infants (ages 5-7) and one for the Juniors (8-11). However, in 1985 the visionaries at County Hall decided to change the age at which children moved up to new schools, and at the same time closed the Junior school. What remained was the 6-room First School (5-8). The other side was transferred to Crawley College (now part of ‘Central Sussex College‘). I went back there for some evening classes about 5 years ago – in the same room that I spent my 3rd year with Mr Whitehead – which was a bit spooky. Back in 1985, I spent a year at Ifield Middle School (9-12) marking time before I could go to a proper Comprehensive.
So, when the County decided to go back into line with the rest of the country, and bring back the Infant/Junior set-up, they were at one point talking about closing West Green completely (not very popular). Instead, they decided to keep it going with a single class per year. This would make a lot of sense, as it means that local children don’t have to cross the A23 or the London Road or walk about a mile (or, as is more likely, get driven about). However, it takes until now, a whole five years after the planning process, to realise that there is a room short.
West Sussex County Council – the same people that blamed a bad winter for pot-holes in the roads, just after one of the mildest winters on record!