June 17, 2008

School Vision is All Wrong

Failing Politicians: I noted with great interest the comments made by Ed Balls, secretary of state for children, schools and families, regarding the potential closure of 'failing' schools within the coming months.

As reported in The Sentinel on June 10, in Stoke-on-Trent this would mean the closure of not only Berry Hill, Longton and Mitchell high schools but also James Brindley and Birches Head high schools as well. This leaves me pondering a number of points.

Firstly, how will we as a city cater for our secondary school children if the number of schools is further reduced by the possibility of two more high schools being forced to close by central Government? Secondly, why are the current proposals for the reorganisation of secondary schools within the city so out of tune with the latest Government vision?

We have been constantly assured by Mayor Meredith and Steve Robinson that the Building Schools for the Future programme will have positive effects on the future education of the young people of Stoke-on-Trent and that the proposals have been developed with great care and thought. If this is the case, why is a popular school such as Trentham High, with its high attainment rates, facing closure, when other schools classed as 'failing' have or are about to receive new builds under the Building Schools for the Future programme?

This is just the latest in a long line of events which makes me believe the reorganisation of secondary schools in this city is more about those wielding the power than the future generations of this city.

I would have sent my concerns to the city council but am aware that its response to any letters about the future of Trentham High is that the letters are being read and filed but they will no longer make any further response.So much for democracy in this city.



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