Parents of Pinner Wood pupils were very much under the impression that KS1 children would be moving to St Jerome’s bi-lingual school after the Easter Break, but this appears to have come crashing down at the 11th hour, for reasons yet to be made clear.
To be fair, the council never committed in writing – although it may have suggested otherwise at the public meetings – that St Jerome’s would be the answer, having only said:
We have identified two possible locations for Key Stage 1 students for the Summer term – the old school site at Civic Centre and St Jerome’s Church of England Bi-Lingual Primary School.
So, what about transport? The council has committed to providing this:
We are committed to providing a method of transportation for pupils from Pinner Wood to their temporary sites.
However, if you listen to the rumours on Twitter, this has now been pulled off the negotiating table.
We asked Cllr Sachin Shah, leader of the council, and Cllr Susan Hall, leader of the Conservative group, for an update on this. We also copied that request to the council’s Press Office. Only Cllr Hall bothered to respond. She wrote:
I mentioned at the very beginning of our discussions with the Council the possibility of mobile classrooms being put at a local park/other venue. Mobile Classrooms these days are astonishingly good and this would then enable the School to stay together and for it to be local for the ease of the Children and their Parents. It would also enable easy transition as soon as the building is ready to be occupied again. Obviously I am only an opposition Councillor so it is not in my hands however I am urging them to take a look at this solution.
On another note I have asked Michael Lockwood to get a second opinion regarding the closure of the School and works to be undertaken. It is right and proper that we do not just accept the view of the people who will be doing the work. Transparency and challenge should always be at the heart of what we do.
There are two main issues here. Firstly the safety of the Children and secondly the Children’s education. However the ease in which the parents can get the Children to school and the ability to keep this most outstanding School together must be a substantial consideration.
This is all I know so far. The Parents Meeting is tonight at 7pm and is at the Arts Centre. I shall be going as I want to be able to support the views of the Parents and also hear what the latest views of the Council is.
No doubt more details will be forthcoming tonight – we’ll share those as soon as we have them. Meanwhile, a petition is gathering pace to make the council sit up and listen to the voices of the residents that it apparently exists to serve.