Collenswood School: Rock bottom

PUBLISHED: 11:49 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010

Collenswood School

Collenswood School

MORALE among teachers at a school which faces closure is at rock bottom. Pupils at Collenswood School are set to join Barnwell School in September if Hertfordshire County Council proposals go ahead. Barnwell teachers will keep their jobs but those at Col

MORALE among teachers at a school which faces closure is at rock bottom.

Pupils at Collenswood School are set to join Barnwell School in September if Hertfordshire County Council proposals go ahead.

Barnwell teachers will keep their jobs but those at Collenswood School are having to reapply for posts at an expanded Barnwell School.

This has led to uncertainty among staff with many of them looking for jobs elsewhere.

A teacher, who does not want to be named, told The Comet: "A lot of people are looking for new jobs because there is no incentive to stay. Teachers have bills and mortgages to pay."

She said a meeting, organised by teachers, is being held today (Thursday) at the school at 5pm to try and stop the closure of the school and create an alternative proposal.

National Union of Teachers spokesman Christine Hood told The Comet: "We are concerned. Two teachers are due to leave at Easter and there is still time for more to leave. The authority should offer financial incentives to encourage people to stay."

She said when teachers leave they will be replaced by supply teachers.

Parents fear their children's education will suffer with all the upheaval.

During a consultation meeting held on Tuesday night a Hertfordshire County Council representative said Collenswood teachers would know their future in "a matter of weeks".

One angry father, who has two daughters in Year 11, is worried his daughters' lives will be ruined because the morale of the teachers who are meant to be helping them study for their GCSEs is so low.

He was sickened when Justin Donovan, deputy director of learning and school effectiveness at the county council, promised that the council would pay for resit exams for those who don't do as well as they had hoped because of the upheaval caused by the proposal to close.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: "It is appalling to offer to pay for resits, they should be doing something now to prevent the children needing to take resits.

"This is destroying their lives. We are talking about children failing now. The council have made it much harder for my daughter to pass her exams."

Mr Donovan admitted proposing to close a school is very difficult and controversial but felt it was the right choice.

He said: "If kids are upset and disrupted we regret that."

* Let us know your views. Email The Comet on editorial@thecomet.net, telephone 01438 866200 or visit our website at www.thecomet.net

Timetable

Jan 31 - Consultation ends

Feb 8 - Results of consultation will go to the Education Panel

Feb 21 - Decision will be made by council's cabinet

Aug 31 - School will close if proposals go ahead

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