Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Local schools under threat

You may have noticed there has been a great deal in the local press lately about the school rebuilding plans in north-west Sheffield. The Labour plan is to knock down Wisewood and Myers Grove schools and build a new "super-school" on the Myers Grove site.

On reading the documents, my first reaction was "stitch-up" - that the decision had already been made to create a new Trust school in North Sheffield in line with the Government's wishes.

The fact that the funding has already been applied for (a decision will be made before the consultation period is finished) suggests to me that this has been in the pipeline for a lot longer than Labour would have us think

Indeed, a letter in the Sheffield Star seems to confirm this:

"I was told about the merger of Wisewood and Myers over a month ago by a Sheffield MP but was asked not to 'quote' her because it was only an idea in its early stages."

(Angela Smith is the current MP for Sheffield Hillsborough, which contains both Wisewood and Myers Grove.)

A Lib Dem councillor confided in me that they had heard rumours of the closure "months ago". Another said that the odds were "so heavily stacked against the LEA" that the new school would almost certainly be a Trust school.

There is a consulation period starting on November 13 (next Monday) and finishing on January 31, but it contains no alternative plans - just an opportunity to approve the one scheme on offer (or not!)

Teachers at Wisewood have already come out against the plans.

For what it's worth, this blogger will be getting squarely behind the parents' and teachers' efforts to keep Wisewood open.

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