Demonstrate and lobby the Mayor and Cabinet @ Lewisham Town Hall
Wednesday 13 February, 5.15pm
Local parents have serious concerns about the proposal to give Monson Primary School to Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hatcham College and the consultation process that the Council have used.
Did you know?
The Mayor is going to make his decision on 13th February. Lewisham is basing its decision which will affect hundreds of children – on only 331 written consultation responses. The take over will mean Monson will pass out of local authority control to a body that is not accountable – even under the Freedom of Information Act. The Council also plans to give away control of both the new secondary school and the new special school as well.
The impact on Monson
Lewisham claims the merger will benefit this under performing school in a socially deprived area citing High Mobility. Other Lewisham schools such as John Stainer have experienced greater mobility problems and these have successfully been addressed by the schools themselves. Why can’t their positive approach be examined and applied at Monson?
If the local authority’s response to difficulties is to off load struggling schools to publically unaccountable bodies what will happen to the next school that begins to suffer?
Making Aske’s a local school
Askes is an unaccountable body, and the local authority has no power over the institution. It is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Should Monson be taken over by Askes it too will become unaccountable to local parents. Askes has no record of working with primary schools and neither can it demonstrate academic success with the demographic represented at Monson. Aske’s has never achieved the ‘value added’ record of schools such as Deptford Green.
The proposal claims that Askes will become a more ‘local’ school. Parents have clamoured for years for Askes to take more local children. This could be achieved by working with ALL the primary schools local to Aske’s and in order to ensure a more balanced social mix it could calculateits catchment area from the lower site and/or abandon its separate banding policy. This would ensure fairness for ALL local children.
Lewisham allowed only 6 weeks for this final consultation – since 2000 the Government has recommended a minimum 12 weeks for consultations. Lewisham identified five local schools – Childeric, Edmund Waller, Kender,Lucas Vale and St James Hatcham -as the most affected by this proposal leaving out John Stainer and Myatt Garden. Having identified these schools they were given little chance to voice their views. Parents at the five identified schools were simply informed that a leaflet would be sent in the next edition of ‘Lewisham Life’.
Lewisham Council are aware that many local parents report never having received this edition or this leaflet. Lewisham Council claims it randomly selected 350 local primary parents to attend focus groups and that invitations were also sent to pre-school parents in the area of Askes. No parents attended. At least two local parents specifically requested inclusion but their requests were turned down as Lewisham Council didn’t want ‘too many people’ and they were to be randomly selected.
Every voice now counts
Unless Lewisham accepts that this consultation process has been inadequate and unfair it will be basing a decision which will affect hundreds of children on only 331 responses.
Join in our unoffical ballot at school gates.
Stop the take over of Monson by HAHC.
Let the Council know you are opposed to their plan to sell off our schools.
Join the campaign to Defend Education in Lewisham.