Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/566/6897
Save Charlotte Turner school!
GREENWICH COUNCIL proposes to close our primary school Charlotte Turner, and mothball it for three years because of the limited number of children attending the school. Gillian Palmer, the council's director of children's services, believes no extra money should come to the school as she cannot see this benefitting the local council.
Kim Bozek, parent of pupils at Charlotte Turner school
She proposes placing 260 children in schools in Lewisham and Greenwich boroughs whose classes are already bulging. (Charlotte Turner school is on the border of these boroughs - eds) A lot of special needs children attend Charlotte Turner; placing them just anywhere will leave some children traumatised and not wanting to go to school. They do not make friends easily and will struggle to fit in.
The council are considering Morden Mount school, quite a distance from Charlotte Turner, and whose scoring for education was similar to ours in its last Ofsted report. How would this benefit our kids' education?
The council asked Morden Mount parents to fill in surveys on what they feel about our school closing. What about what we think? It's our children's school and nobody from the council seems to listen to our views.
A new development of 267 three and two-bed flats and houses is being built right opposite the school. How would this not benefit the school numbers rising? Gillian Palmer wants to rent the building out so that if a large influx of children moves into the local area they will open it again - moving our children away then bringing them back later. What about our kids now?
How does it benefit Greenwich education if their residents take their children to learn in Lewisham schools? Then, numbers will drastically drop in Greenwich schools and the council will shut them down just like they propose with Charlotte Turner. We must stop councils closing down schools.
Greenwich council has told the school to still accept applications but not to enrol anyone. At present, 69 children are on the waiting list for reception and nursery places. We are trapped. We cannot even apply to other schools as they have been told not to accept any children attending Charlotte Turner. So we are supposed to sit and wait until they make a decision whether to close the school or not.
The parents' forum which I belong to represents our kids' school and is fighting to stop its closure with protests, public meetings and petitions. The more support we have the better chance we have of getting ourselves heard.
In The Socialist 11 February 2009:
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