Parents disappointed and confused at Barkingside schools meeting

PARENTS concerned about the future of their children’s education were left frustrated after they were given limited time to ask questions at a public meeting.

More than 300 people had hoped to make their voices heard about proposals to take over Ilford Jewish Primary School in Carlton Drive, Barkingside when its pupils move to the site of nearby King Solomon High School in Forest Road.

Bids have been submitted by the Al-Noor Foundation, a Muslim educational charity, the I-Foundation, which wants to open the borough’s first Hindu school and Redbridge Council which has planned a community school.

Representatives from each group were given 25 minutes each to stake their claim at the meeting held at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford with five minutes allocated for public involvement.

But speeches overran which allowed time for only two questions.

Mum-of-two Manisha Patel, 40, said: “I wanted to quiz the groups on a few of their policies but I didn’t have the chance which was disappointing.

“There should have been less talking and more interaction with the parents who went out of their way to attend.”

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Ramesh Pandya, 38, added: “I could have read all that spiel on the internet.

“At least 20 minutes of questioning time was needed for each proposal.”

The presentations were crammed full of facts and figures and some people complained of “getting lost”.

Last week community group Barkingside 21 spoke out against the proposals from Al-Noor and the I-Foundation arguing the borough needed a school for “all of the diverse communities”.

However both bidders have insisted their schools will cater for everyone.

Representations can be made until 5pm on February 3 and can be emailed to or sent to New Primary School Competition, London Borough of Redbridge, Lynton House, 225-259 High Road, Ilford.

The successful bid will be chosen by the Independent Office of the Schools Adjudicator when the consultation is complete.