Archive for January, 2012

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Ofsted puts Abbeywood School into special measures

Posted on Tuesday 31st January 2012 at 9:14 am by SH (Editor)

Abbeywood Community School, Stoke Gifford, Bristol

Stoke Gifford’s Abbeywood Community School has been placed into special measures by Ofsted.

The school, formerly known as Filton High, was visited by inspectors at the beginning of December and their report was sent home to parents/carers yesterday (Monday 30th January).

Ofsted had previously served the school with “notice to improve” following an inspection in October 2010. A monitoring inspection in May 2011 concluded that “satisfactory progress” was being made but the school suffered a setback in October 2011 when headteacher Ann Duff left suddenly – to be replaced by Dave Baker of Bradley Stoke Community School.

In the latest report, lead inspector Karl Sampson says the school has not been providing an acceptable standard of education, adding:

“The curriculum and systems for providing care, guidance and support do not meet the learning needs of all students.”

South Gloucestershire Council’s Director for Children and Young People, Therese Gillespie, said:

“While we are disappointed with the outcome of the recent inspection at Abbeywood Community School, we have full confidence in the current leadership of the school to bring about the necessary improvements.

More: Parents/carers called to meeting next Monday evening »

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Plans revealed for three new classrooms at St Michael’s

Posted on Saturday 28th January 2012 at 1:54 pm by SH (Editor)

St Michael's Primary School, Stoke Gifford, Bristol

A planning application for three new permanent classrooms at St Michael’s Primary School in Ratcliffe Drive [map] has been submitted to South Gloucestershire Council.

The proposed new classrooms will be situated in a new extension at the rear of the site, taking up part of the existing playground.

Funding for the extension is coming from a financial contribution by the developer of Parkway North, required by part of a Section 106 agreement signed in 2000.

Construction of the new classrooms will allow the number of temporary classrooms on the site (currently eight) to be “reduced proportionally”.

The temporary classrooms were originally installed to cope with a an anticipated “bulge” of demand arising form the Bradley Stoke housing development. It had been anticipated to remove them once the bulge had passed but further development, particularly at Parkway North, resulted in the need to retain them.

A feasibility study carried out in 2009 confirmed the possibility of increasing accommodation at the school to provide 630 places on a permanent basis.

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Stoke Gifford tidal energy firm seeks investors

Posted on Tuesday 24th January 2012 at 12:17 pm by SH (Editor)

Stoke Gifford Business News

A Stoke Gifford engineering company is hoping to benefit from a new Government initiative that aims to encourage investment in marine renewable energy.

Marine Current Turbines (MCT), based at The Green, is recognised as a “world leading” technology developer in the prospectus for the UK’s first Marine Energy Park, launched yesterday in Bristol by Climate Change Minister Greg Barker.

The South West Marine Energy Park will stretch from Bristol through to Cornwall and as far as the Isles of Scilly. It will create a collaborative partnership in the region between national and local government, Local Enterprise Partnerships, the Universities of Plymouth and Exeter and industry – including the Wave Hub in Cornwall. The aim of the partnership will be to speed up the progress of marine power development.

MCT took advantage of the interest in yesterday’s announcement to launch investment prospectuses for its eight megawatt (MW) Kyle Rhea project in Scotland and its 10 MW Anglesey Skerries project in Wales.

The projects will use MCT’s SeaGen tidal energy system, which works in principle much like an “underwater windmill” with the rotors driven by the power of the tidal currents rather than the wind.

More: Minister says sector could support thousands of jobs »

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Around 50 protesters attend rail depot site inspection meeting

Posted on Sunday 22nd January 2012 at 9:15 pm by SH (Editor)

Rail depot site meeting in Sandringham Road, Stoke Gifford

District Councillors inspecting the site of a proposed 42 acre rail depot in Stoke Gifford were given a frosty reception from around 50 residents at a meeting in Sandringham Road last Friday (20th January).

Hitachi Rail wants to build the depot on the Filton Triangle [map], an area of land bounded by railway lines to the west of Parkway Station, as part of the £1 billion project to electrify the Great Western mainline.

More than 500 local residents have objected to the scheme, saying they fear the 24/7 depot will create noise, fumes and light pollution, lead to an increase in flooding and pollute waterways in the area.

Friday’s street meeting gave the applicant’s agent, local residents and local Parish and District Councillors a chance to address members of a South Gloucestershire Council planning sub-committee assigned to inspect the site prior to a decision being made.

The meeting got off to a tense start, with residents heckling the Sub-Committee Chair Cllr Dave Hockey as he tried to explain the procedure to be followed during the 35 minutes allowed. Interruptions continued as planning officer Simon Penketh tried to outline the proposals with the aid of a large plan, with many people saying they couldn’t hear what was being said.

The meeting went on to hear Andy Barr, agent for Hitachi, read out a prepared statement, followed by observations and comments from local South Gloucestershire Councillor Keith Cranney.

One resident who said he was in favour of the scheme “with reservations” was then allowed to speak, before opponents – headed by Lesley Cox of the Stokes Campaign Against Rail Electrification Depot (SCARED) – were given a chance to have their say.

Cllr Hockey thanked everybody for their contributions, adding that although procedure dictated that no answers could be given to protesters’ questions on the day, these would be provided in a report published prior to a planning meeting scheduled for Thursday 2nd February, when a decision to approve or refuse the application is expected to be made.

More: A summary of ‘who said what’ at the meeting »

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