Merger plan revealed for Cumbrian senior schools
Last updated at 16:16, Thursday, 07 February 2013
Workington's Stainburn and Southfield senior schools want to merge.
Have your say
As stated in the News and Star the National Union of Teachers (NUT) claims that staff, parents and children are being railroaded into the merger and have not been properly consulted over the plans. Why was this merger not mentioned at the open evening for up coming students on the 31 Jan less than a week before it was all announced to current students they must have known it all seems far to fast. Understandably the merger of the two schools would happen in the future with the drop in pupil numbers, but why close the Sixth Form Centre before the new building has been completed. So many seem to forget that Sixth formers are currently doing their Aâ Levels âvoluntarilyâ to give them a better chance of gaining employment or enable them to progress to university so why disrupt their education by moving them prematurely to Southfield and then move them again once the new build is completed. Yes pupils doing GCSEâs need looked after but those doing AâLevels need it even more, now that there are no January exams the students will need as much support as possible to pass first time. Also universities can see how many times students take their AâLevels and can use this information on offering places. Is it not sensible to have absolute minimum disruption to Sixth Form education and help them gain their grades, in the long run if they obtain the grades that aids the schools reach their targets. If the schools are in the red which is also a large factor, why not close the Southfield site which is greatly underused but probably still costing a vast amount to run and carrying a much larger amount of staff to pupil ratio. Why not move all year 7-11 pupils and staff to Stainburn as it is a large capacity school as it stands and could easily accommodate portable classrooms like other local schools have to use and at least it would only be for a couple of years. As printed on the Department of Education website in Jan 2013 excluding 16-19 year old (Sixth Formers) the total number of pupils of Stainburn and Southfield is approximately 1100.
Bright Tribe have no right to ruin the education of Workington pupils. Do people know that they have not run any schools yet and have no track record at all? In the last six months they have only managed to talk 2 schools into joining them. Stainburn and Southfield are the only ones to have fallen for their talk in the last six months. They have not asked staff or parents what they want. What happens when it all goes pear-shaped which it will? The people of Workington do not need this.It is wrong that governors who never set foot in the two schools could decide for this to go ahead.Why does this have to be rushed? I think it would be better to tell Bright Tribe to come back when they have actually set up a school and can show that they can make a success of a school. Why should the children of Workington be their guinea-pigs?
Of course the youth of Workington deserve the best facilities, but the real issue here is the SPEED of this merger. Bright Tribe insist that there will be a new build; they also insist that they are steadfastly committed to Workington. If these things are true, let them build the new school and THEN let the people of the area see what they are getting. Surely this would provide the smoothest tranfer possible. As it stands, several years of students will find themselves in limbo, as a protracted change-over takes place. Who knows, perhaps even those parents of Workington (and district)who have jumped on the bandwagon of having their kids educated outside the town (thus playing a part in causing this problem)might jump back on board and take advantage of the taxpayers' money!