Star date: 19th April 2013


Salford parents may well be asking what is going on in our primary schools at the moment. And might particularly want to ask Assistant Mayor for Children, Councillor John Merry, what on earth is going on around stuffing loads of kids into small schools or sacking support staff. The Salford Star did. And the GMB union did. Here's what happened with St Mark's in Worsley and Springwood in Swinton…

Full details here…


Parents of children at St Mark's Primary contacted the Salford Star earlier this month, after hearing on the `Mumternet' (via a leak from its own governors' meeting) that, to increase its intake of kids, the school was to plonk four modular units (portacabins) on the playground and was then going to Tarmac over some of the playing field to replace the lost playground space. While extra teachers were to be employed, the school would remain the same size, meaning squashed facilities.

Parents were worried that this was somehow linked with Peel Holdings' plans to also plonk thousands of houses on nearby green field sites (see here). One of the obvious objections to its proposals was the lack of school places to cope with loads of new family homes.

Via Twitter, the Salford Star asked John Merry, Assistant Mayor for Children, if St Mark's was getting `four portacabins in the school playground to expand classes - True or False'. He replied `False'.

We e-mailed the school itself with the information we had, to which Business Manager Sarah Manion replied…

"The governing body has agreed to increase the Pupil Admission Number from 45 to 60 places in Reception for September 2013. Discussions are taking place in order to agree the additional classroom facilities required."

We replied…

`Sorry to bother you again but can you confirm that there won't be four modular units (portacabins) on the playground, and that the school is not going to Tarmac parts of the playing field to replace the lost space of the playground?'

No response.

Then a letter went out to parents from the school, slamming the `circulation of half truths and unfounded accusations'...but confirming that `Salford City Council has agreed to build four modular classrooms in a permanent building. This building will be sited on the Key Stage 2 playground. A new playground will be provided…'

Homework suggestion for Assistant Mayors and Heads… `I will be straight with the media'. Discuss.


In March, the Salford Star ran an article on Springwood Primary School in Swinton which educates some of the most vulnerable children in Salford. The school was proposing a `re-structure', following an Ofsted report which stated the school had an "unsustainable financial position".

The school, we understood, had a full time Finance Manager, four Assistant Heads…and the Business Manager was about to be made full time. But the equivalent of 7.5 support staff who work closely with the vulnerable children were to be axed under the `re-structure' (see previous Salford Star article here).

The School's Head, Lesley Roberts, responded that "We are nearing the end of a consultation period, looking at options to restructure all levels of staff, as recommended to us by our latest Ofsted report."

Now Steve Noble, President of the GMB UNION (Salford City Council Branch) has written to us stating "I would, through the media of the Salford Star, like to clear up a few points regarding the staffing situation at Springwood School, Swinton, and ask questions of the Schools management team and Councillor John Merry…"

Here are Steve Noble's questions…

1) The Ofsted report (Nov 2012 ) quotes "Requires improvement because…teaching is not good enough to bring out the best in pupils"

Question: Why then has the lower levels of staff been targeted for redundancy and not a clear out of teachers?

2) Quote "A lot of teachers are paid extra to set an example…"

Question: Why has this extra pay not been deducted now, especially as the previous quote states "Teaching not good enough"?

3) Quote " Strengths: The school works extremely well with lots of other people ie nurses etc"

Question: Why then have Nursery Nurses been targeted for redundancy?

4) Quote "the Local authority were slow to recognise that this school was not as good as it thought"

Question: Is this why John Merry states that "the Council are in full support"…because they have been negligent in monitoring this school?

Question: Why is it quoted by Mr Merry and the Head Teacher that Ofsted advised the proposed Staffing Review, when the Ofsted report clearly states "the proposed staffing review"? This indicates the school told Ofsted they intended to review, and Ofsted states "A review of staffing is planned for Sept 2013" - once again indicating the review idea came from the school and not Ofsted.

At no point in the Ofsted report are lower level staff criticised. Teachers and the management team came in for severe criticism

Question: As Mr Merry states that the Council are in full support of the changes at the school, can he tell me when and where the meetings to discuss the schools situation were held and who attended?

The Salford Star understands that the GMB's Steve Noble has a meeting with John Merry next Monday – but that the school has gone ahead with the proposals for the re-structure.

Homework suggestion for Assistant Mayors and Heads… `I will not twist the words of Ofsted'. Discuss.

at 22:16:20 on 06 September 2013
Well here's an update on Springwood school. The bully is still there. She has down graded staff. 22 staff left in July this year, so that's around 35 between last July 2012 and this July 2013. 7 board of governor's have resigned since Lesley Roberts has been the head. Less then 3 years. 4 governors recently, as in this week. One board of governors who is also a parent who said to a member of staff, she cant do anything about what's happening and so resigned. Employed 10 new staff because that many resigned, she had too. Most are not experienced in working with Special needs children. But does she care, no she doesn't, its all about balancing the books. Lesley Roberts and her side kick Jackie Wennington both came from the same school in Warrington. The school is sadly not what it use to be and never will be while the two stooges are running it. Get them out parents
Nicola Brophy wrote
at 06:33:15 on 06 July 2013
It s disgusting what is goin on....I have 2 boys at springwood both have ASD...I have always found the staff very thoutfull of my boys needs...why fix what wasnt broken. Very sad.
at 06:07:06 on 01 May 2013
More staff leaving daily now. How can the council allow long serving dedicated salford employees to suffer this way? Do they not care about the welfare of them or the vulnrable pupils.... Shameful
at 06:07:00 on 01 May 2013
The teachers WONT back the TAs,(information given to them via unions) its more than insulting and disappointing when each and every day the TAs are facing unfair stress and uncertainty but STILL support the teachers with professionalism, dignity and maturity. Make your own minds up...who are the better people in loco parentis to the children...teachers who only look after themselves or the TAs who continue to stand up for the children and risk losing their job for doing so? I know who I'd back.
volunteer wrote
at 06:06:53 on 01 May 2013
Breakdowns tears anxiety fear resignatons with no job to go to. J ust how bad does it have to get?? Does anyone think staff feeling this way makes for a happy productive environment for these children
at 21:28:28 on 29 April 2013
Gill Lambert, nobody is helping the TA'S. Teachers don't care because they are not affected by the changes. Good qualified and experienced Staff are handing in notices because they don't want to work there anymore. TA'S crying, because they don't know what level they will be employed as. Level 3 being downgraded after many years, how disgusting is that. I don't understand how its being aloud to happen. I know this because a friend of mine works there, she's so stressed with it all. Why when the school was known as a good school are these changes being aloud to happen. Salford council needs to do something now before its to late.
confused wrote
at 21:28:21 on 29 April 2013
if as ofsted said teachers and management poor why then are support staff being made scapegoats? two years to ruin sad saf sad! mr merry what are you going to do?
Gill Lambert wrote
at 15:43:19 on 29 April 2013
I understand from this site that there are to be changes at Springwood. I hope the wonderful, loving, dedicated work done by conscientious TAs and experienced escorts will not be undermined. I hope that teachers will show solidarity with anyone who will be adversely affected by these changes. Mostly I hope that the most vulnerable children - those with profound and multiple difficulties - will continue to access a sensory curriculum. Many of these children need to be moved into class chair, standing frame, side lyer and to have free time on the floor. They also need changing according to their needs - not the needs of a timetable. They need to be given their medication and to be fed in a calm happy atmosphere, in which no-one is rushed or rushing. Their needs do take time, but are essential for health and well-being. I hope the changes will not detract from their experience of school. I trust that any changes will be made fully known to parents, including any effect on the children and beloved, trusted TAs on whom parents rely so heavily. Thank you.
at 13:45:03 on 28 April 2013
To the PARENT OF SRRINGWOOD SCHOOL, the comments you've made about a member of staff at Springwood School with regards to "appear to have mental health issues" indicates to me you know this person, if not and you are aware of their health issues, then someone at the school has breached their confidentiality, under The Data Protection Act. Anyone off work sick has the right for every thing to be confidential and no one should know why people are off sick. It appears to me that someone in management has wrote the comment to try and bully people to stop commenting on here. Is it Lesley Roberts herself, is she panicking, because people write the truth about her and don't lie.
at 08:23:57 on 28 April 2013
This comment is for the so called REAL PARENT OF SPRINGWOOD SCHOOL. If you are a real parent of a child at Springwood school, you would not write the disgusting comments and say what you did. As a real parent you would have nothing but praise for what the TAs do for the lovely children at school. They work hard and are dedicated to their roles and the children. The comment that you wrote is something Lesley Roberts herself would write from what I read on here about her, maybe your comment was meant for her. She is the one that needs help and maybe you.
at 18:11:40 on 27 April 2013
I maybe wrong here but I have just read this article and it states that they are looking at options to restructure all levels of staff. Does this include the governors the head teacher and the assistant heads. After reading all the comments I don't believe the governors are doing their jobs properly or they obviously haven't got a clue as to what is really going on and if the TA's have to reinterview for their jobs then surely the teachers, deputy heads, assistant heads, head teacher and the governors should be re-interviewed. But is that going to happen? Surely in a total staff restructure this is what should happen! Why when you know the school is struggling for money do you take on more staff (jan/feb) and then start getting rid of staff further down the line? Why get chairs recovered? So they all match. Waste of money. If the school finances are in a mess surely the head of finance should be asked if they are doing their job effectively.
stephanie matthews wrote
at 06:01:39 on 27 April 2013
Given the tone and the comments on this web page,I would really like to know why the Dept of Education has not been informed? and why there appears to be no real interest in the demise of this school's ethos.As for the" real parent"...I wonder.how do you know there is only 1 ta making comments?..calling them mentally ill! given the nature of some of the school community can only be considered a disgusting remark...well "sweetie" try putting your real name in the above box.I would then have a modicum of respect for you.Are you really a parent at all?
at 18:39:48 on 26 April 2013
I an NOT a TA but a brother of a TA, to see her so upset because of the mess at Springwood makes us as a family upset too. If you're a "real parent" then you should have more care in your heart instead of looking down in bias at people who are stressed NOT mentally ill. You should be in support not against the TAs who on a daily basis always give 100% with a smile.
openandtransparent wrote
at 10:00:30 on 26 April 2013
With regard to Springwood, as an ex-governor and parent, I have read with interest the comments posted on-line and my overwhelming view is that this has emphasised the lack of support unions have from the Local Authority to ensure whatever change is required in the workplace is undertaken properly and for the right reasons. I would like also to add clarification on some issues: Finance In the April prior to Mrs Roberts assuming the post of Headteacher, the school budget had a carryover of over £110,000. The budget plan was stringently monitored with the finance committee up to the time Mrs Roberts took up her post and expenditure was comfortably within estimates. During the previous five years the school had received the FMIS award twice for finance/budget management and had been declared value for money by OFSTED.The real issues lay with the LA continuing to underfund the school with a formula that did not reflect the changes in pupils (notably an increase in ASD pupils and the inherent staffing needs). Health and Safety Prior to Mrs Roberts assuming the post of Headteacher, Health and Safety was stringently monitored by the governors subcommittee. A template had been created outlining a schedule for all procedures/inspections and this was reviewed regularly to ensure all was safe and correct. In addition, the Headteacher commissioned an external Health and Safety Company to perform a total Audit of the school’s Health and safety procedures. This was carried out and, prior to the former Headteacher retiring, the process was repeated and the school highly praised for its effective procedures. Staffing The school had originally been opened following the merger of three special schools with a management team established that consisted of a Headteacher, two deputies and four Assistant Heads. The last Headteacher reduced this structure and made it more financially viable by removing one of the Deputy Headteacher posts permanently and temporarily removing one of the assistant head posts. In addition, as a member of support staff retired/resigned, new support staff were appointed on the basic TA1 level. It was agreed with Salford council that the Deputy Headteacher post would not need to be filled. Upon Mrs Roberts assuming the post of Headteacher, the second deputy post was reinstated by the Headteacher and governors. In the new staffing restructure, not two years later, the same governors have now removed the post they created, though pay will be guaranteed for three years. This alone over the whole period from recreating the new post initially to the finish of the three years’ salary safeguard period will cost the school in the region of over £250,000 that it didn’t have. This is questionable financial management and planning. Furthermore, if the management structure of the school was so large, what a strange first act to increase it by re-establishing a post which, with on-costs, would add another £60,000 to the budget. One has to wonder why,particularly when it was subsequently removed for financial reasons? Reorganisation Throughout the years since the school opened there has continually been the need for change which has been embraced by the staff. The manner in which any change was initiated by both previous Heads has been strictly within Governmental and LA procedures, open, sensitive and with the children’s’ needs as paramount and in a manner supportive to staff. Unions were involved and consulted all along the way. Change is inevitable but must be done for the right reasons and in the right way. By involving staff in the correct and open way change can ensue. If staff feel something is an issue of concern or safety and they try to ensure that procedures are adhered to, this is not “troublemaking”. It is working in the interests and safety of the children. OFSTED In all OFSTED inspections prior to the most recent one, there has never been an issue over the quality of teaching and learning and the atmosphere within the school and welfare of the pupils has always been highly praised. There have been some outstanding examples in all inspections. Much has been made regarding the previous inspection with regard to areas labelled Satisfactory. This previous inspection was undertaken when safeguarding was very high on the national agenda. An error in paperwork within the school,when an old copy of a policy was given to the inspector for safeguarding, compounded by the failure of an assistant head to put the correct documentation in a staff folder ,led to a safeguarding paperwork error that could not be reversed. This meant that irrespective of anything else some areas HAD to be labelled satisfactory and couldn’t be graded higher despite the quality of what was actually happening within theschool .However, having seen the quality of the teaching and learning,the OFSTED team spoke to HMI directly who gave an unprecedented approval despite the anomalies to grade the school as good. This emphasized the quality of what was taking place within the school. The governing Body are fully aware of this unique situation but this has somehow conveniently not come to light in the current debates about standards. Irrespective of anything else that may be presumed regarding events, the above is factual and can be substantiated by the governors.
Parent wrote
at 07:13:54 on 26 April 2013
Fortunately I work and can't just skip a hour or so from work at such SHORT notice to speak to a governor or two about the lack of information to me as a parent! I am so angry! my child can not speak so I have to believe what is written in the home/school book. I do believe that my child is going to loose his escort the friendly caring face who greets him in the morning when he's tired or a bit grumpy, the same lady who I believe has worked as a teaching assistant and an escort for the children for well over 15 years. when my son sees her he's full of smiles and I feel confidant that my child is happy and I'm confidant sending him off to school this gives me pease of mind. WHY WHY WHY will my son suffer so managment can take home BIG wage packets with BIG pensions and big IDEAS of how to run and educate a child like my son WHEN they don't even know his name! WHO ARE YOU GOVENOURS .? Show your face, speak up, do something, where are you? Why are you not listening. I want to meet you all together. There's nothing on the springwood website it doesn't even name who you are. It's a big cover up, headteachers !!!! your cards are marked.
Sue wrote
at 07:13:47 on 26 April 2013
You must be very happy with the education and care your child receives from springwood school so please tell me something positive and encouraging about the currant situation at the school. Are staff suffering mental health issues ? If this is true how can you sit back and do nothing knowing that some children are under this care, I'm shocked at your comments and your child attends this school!!!
appalled wrote
at 07:12:19 on 26 April 2013
would the "REAL" parent of a child who attends a school for children with special needs make a comment so derogatory as the one here about mental illness i think not!
at 07:12:04 on 26 April 2013
A real springwood parent, what do you mean ... What's your name ? How can you know that they are not parents . why is all this being said? Do you have inside information? Please help me I need to know if my child is being cared for ? Your a parent so you must understand how I feel..
Ex employee wrote
at 07:11:41 on 26 April 2013
THE SERIAL BULLY Most organisations have a serial bully it never ceases to amaze me how one persons decisive, disordered, dysfunctional behaviours can permeate the entire organisation like a cancer. All cruelty springs from weakness. The serial bully . Is a convincing practiced liar, when called to account will make up anything spontaneouse to fit their needs at that moment. . Has a Jekyll & Hyde nature - is vile, viciouse & vindictive in private, but innocent & charming in front of witnesses, no one can or wants to believe this individual has a vindictive nature- only the currant target. . Excels at deception and should never be underestimated in their capacity to deceive. . Uses excessive charm, plausible.. Convincing when superiors or others present, charm is used to deceive!!! . Is glib, shallow & superficial, word but no substance! Emotionally immature, retarded, untrustworthy, unusual & inappropriate attitudes, behaviour. . Self -opinionated and displays arrogance, audacity, a a superior sence of entitlement and untouchability. ... More next week on serial bullies got a flight to catch.
A real parent of a Springwood child wrote
at 22:13:36 on 25 April 2013
Sounds to me like the TA that keeps putting comments on here under different names needs to go and see their doctor, personally I don't want somebody who appears to have mental health problems working in my childs school without undergoing a MHA sooner, rather than later. Face up to your problems and look after yourself, get on the sick for a bit, but don't blame it on stress eh.
Robert Sagonna wrote
at 19:09:25 on 25 April 2013
I believe in karma....what goes around comes around and the leader with the army of brown nosers will fall. To these people I say, keep in mind that the colleagues you are trampling down and laughing at will be part of your class team one day.....
pam rimmer wrote
at 15:05:28 on 25 April 2013
In a word - disgraceful.
Noah wrote
at 10:18:24 on 25 April 2013
@very concerned parent; go ahead and ask why only selected governors available for 2hours on 2 dates and I bet the answer will be because the governors are busy people and cannot make them attend. If you do ask and you get that kind of reply........ maybe you could suggest an evening (soon) to meet them, then contact Councillor John Merry.
A very concerned parent wrote
at 21:56:22 on 24 April 2013
I have received a letter saying, if we have concerns about what is happing to the school, we can speak to the Board of Governors, but my concern is why only two and not all of them. Are the chosen two her best mates and will do and say anything she wants them to. We should as parents with concerns have a meeting with all the Board of Governors and maybe the teaching assistants without them worrying about being sacked, what is exactly going on and why are so many staff leaving and what are the Board of Governors doing,if anything at all about what is happening. Come on Mrs Roberts tell us the truth and stop hiding away.
Salford tax payer wrote
at 12:07:56 on 24 April 2013
There is a saying if it isn't broke don't fix it. There was nothing wrong with Springwood school, good Ofsted report, great staff and fabulous children and parents. So why did the head have to change things, just because she can, she has ruined everything, the school is not what it use to be, staff are leaving at an alarming rate, still handing in notices,lots of good experienced qualified staff are leaving. The head knows exactly who she wants in the school,the staff that obey her and that wont speak up or dare ask anything. There are lots of new staff with little experience looking after children, who don't even know what there doing. Its a shame that the council are letting this happen. If I had children I would not let them go to Springwood school because its getting a bad reputation. I use to hear good things but not any more.
Ivor Headache wrote
at 07:25:23 on 23 April 2013
@former labour supporter. Yes, you'd have thought they would have picked up on something but.... the Governors are drip fed sugarcoated information that would be beneficial only to the person making the plans, plus as stated in ofsted she reports staff resistant to change and tells them they are troublemakers...... making her the victim!
a former labour supporter wrote
at 05:28:30 on 23 April 2013
can i ask a simple question? where are all the board of govs on this i believe some of them have been on the board throughout surely these people above all should realise that something is very very wrong at this school?
at 20:18:02 on 22 April 2013
Its disgusting what's going on in Springwood School, it use to be a very happy school for all the pupils and staff that worked there, but not any more. Come on parents march into the school and demand what's going on. The changes are not going to benefit your children, how can it when there is going to be less staff. Staff struggle on a daily basis and children suffer because of sickness and not enough staff. A lot of staff who do a second job as transport assistants are going to loose this role because the head wants to up their hours. why is this aloud to happen, come on parents these staff know your children well and should be aloud to keep their jobs. They will lose about five thousand pounds as well. The head is a control freak and wont stop until its all completely changed from the colour of the paintwork, even chairs in staffroom were recovered because they didn't all match, even though there was no money. Teachers have had new laptops, no money. The school is being ruined by a controller who has put it into debt in the first place. Now its the lower paid staff who have to go. The controller should go and get a new head and turn it back into what it was. A fabulous school with great staff and even greater children.
former parent wrote
at 18:09:28 on 22 April 2013
what i have been reading here is very shocking are all the parents fully aware? if this had happened when my child was at springwood i would have been on to the la! my son has lots of needs and he got the very best care and attention we could have wished for from dedicated staff carrying out a very difficult job. mr merry if you had a child with serious medical and emotional needs would you not wish for him to be cared for by staff who know what they are doing and really care?
Concerned wrote
at 15:38:58 on 22 April 2013
It's too late staff interviews start today. The proposal was passed apparently. So if you want your job at this school you must write a begging letter say why you should be able to keep your job and then have an interview. Does this mean the head will actually be in school and not out at meetings all week
Michael Felse wrote
at 15:38:21 on 22 April 2013
Tip - when I was a School Governor in Doncaster we sacked 3 teachers and removed the Head until we got the ones that were best for the children's education. If parents don't like the controlling mix then get on the Governors panel. Any local Councillor can explain how this is done. This is not about politics, it is about getting the best education for your children's future and do not accept anything less.
Anon wrote
at 09:56:10 on 22 April 2013
Some Staff at the school have already lost 15 minutes of their lunch break as well as special needs allowance! This was another cut made by the head teacher along with staff lunches. First aid staff are not paid after many queries were made to HR and the head - who said they Were looking into it! That was 2 years ago! Staff who administer medication ( support staff) do this voulunterily. Many of the staff there have worked there for many years and slowly but surely those dedicated hard working caring committed staff are giving up! It's shameful that NO ONE in authority is doing a dam thing to protect these children because at the end of the day they don't give a Sh..t !! Gouvenours what the hell do you actually? Because the school is blue and all the chairs match! wonderful well done!
taxpayer wrote
at 21:18:58 on 21 April 2013
will mr merry mr page or anyone from the council now tell us just exactly what is going on at springwood?
taxpayer wrote
at 21:18:53 on 21 April 2013
do the people who are condoning the appalling decisions that ate being made at this school have the faintest idea about hoe a special needs school SHOULD be run? it is very different to a mainstream school and attempts to turn it into one will be disastrous for the chidren as well as the staerff. plesase please governing body councillers and childrens services listen to what is being said stop this travesty before it is too late. the people who are telling you this are not 'troublemakers' who tesist change they are commited dedicated professioals who welcome change but only if it is for the benefit of the children this is clearly not. you have a duty of care to employees and pupils ecercise it and stop this
Taxpayer wrote
at 21:18:25 on 21 April 2013
@Poor show, right answer! I agree with you 100% sadly schools are run as a business & employ these people to manage the finances this in itself sets the school up to fail. Lets not forget that the Governors are also at fault and should be made accountable to the LEA.
A VOICE wrote
at 16:06:38 on 21 April 2013
This fantastic school and the work the dedicated staff have done is being destroyed. Excellent experienced and caring staff have been forced to leave, or are demoralised and victimised for their attempts to protect the caring ethos of this school. The staff have ALWAYS acted in the best interests of the children. As for being " unwilling to accept change" they are truly professional and have always worked with previous heads to ensure that our children get THE BEST. Constant attacks on pay and conditions, moving staff from their area of expertise and not listening to many staffs concerns of health and safety, be they founded or not,is certainly not the way to encourage healthy relations. Hence the extremely high levels of sickness amongst staff suffering from stress and losing great dedicated and experienced individuals. Some of the staff are now frightened to speak out or highlight their concerns for fear of losing their jobs. I realise that these are stringent and ever-changing times, where schools are under so much pressure to produce results and to be accountable for the funding they receive. Nevertheless the special children at this school, infact in all schools, at the very least should be entitled to an experienced, caring and happy atmosphere where they can achieve their best. I appeal to the governors and the LEA to try to listen to the dedicated, but demoralised staff who at are not troublemakers and whistleblowers as you are being led to believe.
Kristian wrote
at 16:06:25 on 21 April 2013
OMG Ive just read the march issue bout springwood What youd think was a nice caring safe place sounds pretty bad and horrible. Why dont the parents do anything cause if it was my kids going there id go ape at the headteacher all them accidents and staff leaving. It said a meeting was cancelled and another date would be set has anyone got the date or have i missed it.
Poor show wrote
at 16:05:15 on 21 April 2013
@Taxpayer, I agree the LEA should be speaking to all staff, i don't agree with business or finance managers having any involvement in schools. Schools are there to provide an education for children not to be run like businesses. My point regarding ploughing money into schools is one of value, you can employ 5 crap teachers or 1 good teacher which is going to have the most positive impact on the kids, my money is on the 1 good teacher.
Taxpayer wrote
at 14:19:11 on 21 April 2013
@Poor show, Although I agree with a couple of your comments things aren't as black and white as you seem to view them. The local authority should visit the school and listen to concerns raised by ALL staff not just the Head and an inept finance manager. Something wrong is going on at Springwood (see archive March issue) the LEA should investigate thoroughly and with urgency, for the sake of the children and its targeted assistants.
Poor show wrote
at 11:33:19 on 21 April 2013
@Taxpayer, you are spot on Springwood school is a lot more deserving than Salford reds in fact Springwood probably has more fans. However ploughing money into education does not solve it's problems we have seen that with the Salford high schools that have "business managers" and masses of backroom staff, the results still don't improve. What schools need are more support from the local authority and more intervention before things get so bad for it be graded needs improvement. This Ofsted report is an indication of the failings of Salford council, no school should get to this stage if the local authority are doing their job properly.
Taxpayer wrote
at 08:03:16 on 21 April 2013
Ofsted inform schools of their imminent arrival, this causes management to run round like headless chickens, Ofsted should just turn up and see the real picture. FACT the NNEBs and TAs are essential the school cannot run without them. If you look at the job descriptions you will discover the extent of our roles (we also do extras through good will) It is heartbreaking to witness the outcome occuring through 'restructure'.
at 07:31:58 on 21 April 2013
Springwood TAs needs help its probably a very emotional and physically draining lowpaid job yet they are being targeted when, according to the ofsted report its teachers and top heavy management that are at fault. It therefore would make sense to remove the inadeqate leaders and substandard teachers not the assistants. Ian Stewart gave Salford Reds an astronomical sum to help save them, can he explain what makes them more important.
Taxpayer wrote
at 08:09:51 on 20 April 2013
I have been following with interest your recent story concerning Springwood school,it seems to be the head and finance manager are the root of the problem. Can someone please enlighten me as to why Mr Merry supports the obvious failing leadership and condones untruths. I doubt Mr Merry has ever been in the schools mentioned to discuss the plans/proposals, this will become evident when Steve Noble meets with him on Monday. Salford council should be ashamed of the destruction they are causing to ALL of the citys vital services.
aggreived wrote
at 08:09:36 on 20 April 2013
@deluded parent they look a lot better than the last one tegardless of any regime.
angry parent wrote
at 21:11:42 on 19 April 2013
we are so angry at what is going on at springwood we patents are not told anything except when they are asking for money! the assistants have always been brilliant and dedicated i feel so dorry this is happening lowpaid paying for bad management
at 21:11:36 on 19 April 2013
what a sad world these children cannot speak for themselves so what will happen when there are no staff left to speak for them. why does salford council want to downgrade nnebs? are these children not worthy of highly this trained and fully qualified staff?
Parent wrote
at 21:11:10 on 19 April 2013
@aggreived, the previous Ofsted reports were conducted under a different reporting regime, what was "satisfactory" is now defined as "needs improvement", this is because the government do not see satisfactory as being acceptable in mordern schooling, so where in previous reports it states satisfactory you need to read it as needs improvement. All of a sudden the older reports don't look that great do they?
Mr Amnot Wong wrote
at 18:24:52 on 19 April 2013
The biggest fear for the staff at Springwood should be my worry that Salford council would just love to turn every failing school into an academy, that way the council would have no responsibility for any underachiving school in Salford and no shit would fly in their direction when things go wrong. Why would they want this? Because they can't touch the vast majority of money given to them for schools as this government and every one before it have put very strict measures in place to ensure this, otherwise local councils could do silly things like fund private businesses (where there is not a chance of a return on the investment) with the cash instead of ploughing it into education. Schools are just an inconvenient headache to local councils.
aggreived wrote
at 18:24:39 on 19 April 2013
What was a caring school for twelve years read all previous ofsteds springwood is decimated by a malicious self serving dictator and a small group of toadys . Untruths and lies? The ptrsent incumbent is the mistress of those. How sad a briliant place for these children destroyed by a dictator
As it is wrote
at 09:44:08 on 19 April 2013
Since we got an elected mayor this sort of twisting seems to be standard practice, people get wind of some dodgy plans and immediatly a letter goes out to parents using the full force of the council to try and crush the discent. Don't get me wrong i am not saying the schools, parents, council, or unions are right on any of this, what i am saying is to stifle debate and openess is an abuse of the power the council hold and is not conductive to democracy. Could i point out to Steve Noble that in the Ofsted report where it states "The school works extremely well with lots of other people ie nurses etc" they are not refering to nursery nurses and are in fact talking about the medical nurses that are present within the school.
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Star date: 15th July 2018


After Salford City Council suspended Harrop Fold School Head, Drew Povey, and three other staff members last week, supporters have launched a petition to reinstate them, while pupils and parents are planning a protest at the school this Thursday.

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Star date: 15th July 2018


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Do you go the extra mile in pursuit of an icon? Fangirl, at the Kings Arms this Thursday and Friday, deconstructs the 'condition' through songs, rhymes and laughs. A Greater Manchester Fringe must-see, enthuses Ian Leslie.

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Star date: 14th July 2018


Thousands of people packed Albert Square in Manchester last night to voice anger over US President Donald Trump's visit to the UK. Groups from every section of society that Trump has dissed were represented on stage – from Mexican dancers to an ex-US soldier, to trade unions, peace, climate change, refugee, LGBT and women's rights campaigners, plus spokespeople for youth and children. 

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A red open top double decker bus toured Salford this morning covered in slogans reading 'Trump Go Home'. It stopped off at Salford Precinct, Salford Royal Hospital, Langworthy Road and the Civic Centre before heading off to Manchester.

The bus was sponsored by Swinton-based Mary Monson Solicitors, and Mary Monson told the Salford Star that "the idea that he'll come and be feted like a respectable person is appalling". Meanwhile Paul Kelly, President of Salford TUC, called Donald Trump an "ultra-capitalist maniac".

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Star date: 12th July 2018


Many of the actions used by protesters at the Barton Moss anti-fracking demonstrations in Salford were outlawed by a judge at Manchester Civil Justice Centre yesterday, including slow walking, lock-ons and any obstruction of the highway.

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