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GMB fury as school closure announced despite passionate campaign

Thursday, March 30, 2017

GMB fury as school closure announced despite passionate campaign

Meeting to announce Baverstock Academy will shut held with just 20 minutes’ notice

GMB, along with staff, pupils and parents, have reacted with fury to the news Baverstock Academy will close down.

The meeting to announce the Secretary of State's decision there was no future for the academy took place with just 20 minutes’ notice - neither the council nor unions were told in advance.

Baverstock Academy, in Birmingham, was a well-regarded school before being taken over by the Leap Academy Trust in 2013.

Since then it has lurched from crisis to disaster, being placed in special measures due to financial difficulty in 2014.

Now, despite a passionate campaign from GMB, teachers, pupils and parents, it will close on August 31, 2017.

The decision forces hundreds of children to move schools and leaves dozens of staff starting 2017 by losing their jobs.

Gill Ogilvie, GMB Regional Organiser, said:

"Our members have been continually working hard to help pupils at the school achieve and succeed, but this has been given no consideration.

“There has been an agenda to close the school for a significant period of time and this has been pushed by both the school's former leadership and the government.

“Our members are now facing an uncertain future with jobs in schools becoming harder to find as school funds are cut by the Theresa May.

"Our members deserve more. The children of Druids Heath deserve more.

“We need to give the power back to Birmingham Council so that we can retain this school and the keep our children's education secure."

Stuart Richards, Senior Organiser for GMB, said:

"Unfortunately, it is no surprise that the government have now announced the closure of Baverstock.

“Everyone involved in fighting for the school has seen the contact push to close it and to ignore the massive public campaign to keep it open.

“We had little confidence in the government's commitment to supporting the staff and pupils at this school.

"However, we are now left with some fundamental questions that still need to be answered.

“The first is why the some of the leading academy trusts were ruled out of taking over Baverstock?

“The second is what the government intends to do with all the children attending Baverstock as neighbouring schools are already oversubscribed?

“The last question is why a decision about the future of a Birmingham school ignored the views of the council, the local MP, the staff, parents and community?"

 

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