Collenswood School - your comments

PUBLISHED: 12:29 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

Are we getting a touch hysterical about the Collenswood School closure? It was we who elected the county councillors - presumably because we had confidence in them and their judgement. They have a statutory duty to provide the best possible education a

Are we getting a touch hysterical about the Collenswood School closure?

It was we who elected the county councillors - presumably because we had confidence in them and their judgement. They have a statutory duty to provide the best possible education at the lowest possible cost. The economic (not to mention the educational) case for closing Collenswood seems compelling. Operating two schools, when one would suffice, is taxpayer's money wasted. One wonders whether these same protesters will, in due course, be raising their voices against increases in council tax?

Closing a school is never easy, for pupils, parents or staff, but sometimes it is necessary. Surely no sane person could disagree with that?

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

* We have read The Comet with interest, and write as parents who attended the meeting on January 16. John Harris from Children Schools and Families stated at the meeting that the council had no plan B, and that the school will close in August 2006. Indeed if there was to be a plan B, then it would be up to the parents to come up with this plan and put it to the council, prior to January 31.

How can the council call this a consultation when it has given students no option other than closure?

It then gives parents a matter of weeks to submit a constructive argument for a plan B. It is important that people get behind this campaign to stop the closure and to give students and parents due consultation time.

How could Collenswood have been an option on the school preference form, when the council already knew that it was due for closure? Pupils are now being forced to travel to Barnwell when they could have had the option of a more local school.

IAN AND JULIE FILLER

* Further to your article on Collenswood School I would like to say that in the long term I think that closing the school would benefit all concerned.

We live on Shephall Way and our son left the school 18 months ago. During his time at the school we had nothing but trouble from teachers who were just not up to the basic teaching standards. The reason for this we felt was that they all knew in their hearts that things were not right and morale was very low and they just did not want to be there.

Due to the fear of teacher's jobs I feel that all pupils will suffer as teachers will be more concerned for their own welfare (which I can understand) than concentrating on giving 100 per cent to teaching the children, which is required in this situation.

I can understand that this is very hard for the parents, pupils and teachers in question and as such they should fast-track the closure of the school.

This will not only help the pupils but also the teachers as they will be told once and for all about their educational needs and financial security and if any of the teaching staff need to make plans for alternative employment they can.

I wish all the pupils good luck for the future.

A CONCERNED MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC

* I feel that the entire Collenswood community has been let down by this proposal.

The children are unhappy and demoralised, the teachers are demoralised and most parents just feel angry that they have had all their rights taken away. This is not a good long-term move, only perhaps for building companies. Energy and money should be put into rejuvenating and promoting Collenswood. This is a school which the council has allowed to fail as that was in their best interests.

Our children are not failures, although they are being made to feel like it. The failures here are the people at county who have not been effective in improving the quality of leadership and teachers. Some teachers are good, inspirational teachers, but all this proposal has done is undermine them and made them look elsewhere for recognition.

I feel very sad that children and parents can be steamrollered like this and would love to see county swallow their pride, Keep Collenswood open and take on the challenge to turn this school around

NAME AND ADDDRESS WITHHELD

It is sad to read of the potential demise and closure of Collenswood School. There appears to be nothing but negative opinion on the academic abilities of the school - how about something positive?

My wife and I, who do not originate from Hertfordshire, moved to Stevenage in 1988. We have three children all of whom attended Collenswood School. In fact we successfully went to appeal in 1993 to secure our oldest child's place at Collenswood as the school allocated for attendance was Barnwell - now somewhat ironic. The academic achievements of our children so far are: Oldest child - MEng in aeronautical engineering and industrial studies (1st Class with distinction), second child - in 3rd year at university completing MEng in transport design, youngest child - in 1st year at university studying a law degree. In fact the youngest child only left Collenswood School last year after gaining three A levels all A grades, so much for Collenswood School not being academically successful. Although good education starts with good parenting we cannot be anything but grateful to the school for helping to educate and mould our children.

Being cynical about the closure, which is seemingly inevitable, the only conclusion that can be made is that ultimately everything comes down to money. There are economies to be made by the education authority in enlarging Barnwell School and selling the Collenswood site. The site now occupied by Collenswood School is situated in a prime residential area that will have the education authority selling to housing developers rubbing their hands at the profit to be made. Whatever the outcome, a big thank you to all the staff of Collenswood School during 1993 - 2005 for helping to educate our children.

MR D AND MRS GE CANTRELL, Redwing Close, Stevenage

* My son is in year 9 at Collenswood School. He now does not know if he is going to have enough teachers of a good enough standard to be able to do what he wants to do when he leaves school. The staff and children are very hurt and upset by what has happened at their school and feel very let down by the LEA, which has tried to keep the closure as low key as possible to prevent them from protesting about what is happening. The last consultations happened on Tuesday which gives people only one week to protest against the school closing if they wish to do so

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED

* My daughter is in her final year at Collenswood and I am extremely concerned about her exams. The level of education at this sad excuse for a school is beyond belief. I feel that the teachers at this school have failed my daughter and this will affect her for the rest of her life. I accept any re-sits will be paid for, but if the education was up to standard in the first place then they would not have to pay for re-sits.

For one of the subjects my daughter is taking, she has not had one consistent teacher all year so when a new teacher takes over they have no idea what stage the pupils are at. A prime example being, my daughter took her mock exam and she had not even covered the subject in class the questions related to! What chance has any pupil got? I am an extremely angry parent.

What I find hard to believe is the length of time it has taken for the Education Authority to finally act. This school has been failing for the past five years so why let it continue? I am completely disgusted with the whole system. I have been trying to convince my daughter to leave Collenswood for another school for ages but she wanted to stay because of her friends. I wish I had insisted now, then maybe she would have a brighter future.

LOUISE LUXFORD

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