Kids are let down

PUBLISHED: 12:09 16 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 06 May 2010

Having two children at Collenswood and having sat through three consultation meetings and the meeting at County Hall, I still feel that many of the parents questions have gone unanswered and concerns ignored. Firstly I would agree that Collenswood has pr

Having two children at Collenswood and having sat through three consultation meetings and the meeting at County Hall, I still feel that many of the parents' questions have gone unanswered and concerns ignored.

Firstly I would agree that Collenswood has problems, most schools do. According to the LEA every secondary school in Stevenage is performing below the national average. This suggests that the LEA are failing every secondary school-age child in Stevenage and that maybe it is these people that should be closed down and reorganised, as they are clearly not doing their jobs. I also feel that Dr Francis, head of Collenswood has let our children down to such a degree that she should pack her office over half term and leave.

To me as a parent, it is quite clear that she was never going to stand up for our children or their education. At the consultation evenings, it was apparent in the behaviour of the members of the LEA, that they considered these meetings to be a waste of their time and that our concerns as parents were unimportant. They behaved like children, rolling their eyes at each other and sighing when we parents asked a question and demanded an answer.

To the person who asked if we were getting a touch hysterical, I would say maybe so, but we are not talking about a cut knee, or a fight in the playground, we are talking about the closure of a school and the disruption in the education of our children, should we not be a little hysterical?

My main concern, however, is how is Barnwell, a school that is beginning to improve from poor to below average, going to be able to support another 650 children from a school that is also under-achieving? Mr Westergreen-Thorne cannot split himself in two, which means that he will only be able to give half his time, at best, to the Collenswood pupils. In doing this he will take away his time from his current Barnwell pupils.

The Collenswood pupils are now destined to become second-class in the eyes of the current Barnwell teachers and pupils. The Collenswood teachers are losing their jobs because they are not dedicated to Barnwell but I can tell you that the majority of these teachers are dedicated to the Collenswood children. My children are about to lose everything, their sense of community, their teachers, their uniform but, most importantly,their self-esteem.

For this we only have the LEA to thank. My sincere thanks and gratitude however must go to the Collenswood teachers for all the hard work that they have poured into my children's education and for that continued support over the next few difficult months.

JACQUIE LAW

* Throughout the debate surrounding the impending closure of Collenswood School, there have been many negative comments made by parents of pupils of the school towards Barnwell.

This was illustrated by Linda Townsend in this week's Comet stating that we do not feel that Barnwell School is a strong enough school. While I understand the concerns and frustration of those parents, had Collenswood met the standards required by OFSTED, it would not be now being closed. Had Barnwell not had the confidence of the authorities to undertake the management of the school the job would be going to another school in the town. How do these people think this impacts on parents, students and Barnwell staff on hearing comments such as these? Barnwell faces a challenging time now, just as it is beginning to become a stronger school. I am sure it can support Collenswood pupils and the remaining teachers there but it does not need the undermining of those disappointed that Collenswood just did not deliver.

A CONCERNED MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC

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