Over the last year, the Council has been consulting residents on their views of education in Hackney and what they want it to look like in the future. More than 2,500 responded to a questionnaire distributed through Hackney Today, and many more took part in workshops or focus groups.
The Hackney: Schools For Everyone report presents the results and will help the Council to update its policies and future plans for schools.
A total of 2572 residents responded to the consultation, which ran from November 2016 until July 2017. The consultation survey was circulated to 108,000 properties and was publicised using a number of channels from Hackney Today to community newsletters.
It was supplemented with a number of focus groups and events including sessions with Council tenants, the Charedi community, and residents with hearing impairments among others.
Improvements in Hackney's educational offer
Overall, Hackney residents provide a positive picture of education in the borough with 73% of respondents stating that it had improve a lot or improved in recent years.
70% of respondents rated the standard of education in Hackney positively with either very good or good. Over two thirds of respondents (67%) thought primary schools across the borough are very good/good and with over half (57%) rating secondary schools as very good/good.
The Borough's biggest challenges
The report highlights residents' concerns about:
- the impact of population growth
- the need to provide an educational for all in the borough
- lack of school places as a result of the rapidly growing population
- forced academisation
- results-based selection
- unregistered schools
The Council's role and priorities
When asked about the role the Council should take in Hackney's schooling:
- 92% of respondents thought the local authority should ensure there are enough school places locally
- 88% said the Council should support the wellbeing of vulnerable children
- 85% identified access to special educational needs provision
- 83% said the Council should ensure schools work together to provide high quality education
- 83% of respondents believed that it was the Borough's role to oversee the schools admission process and ensure that it's fair
We also asked people to rate the priorities for schools in Hackney on a scale of 'very important' to 'not important at all'. Providing enough primary and secondary school places was considered very important for 90% of respondents, with equal opportunities, maintaining high standards and investing high quality facilities receiving over 80% of responses as 'very important', followed by schools working together at 74%. For more information please see the full report.