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SALFORD SCHOOLS SUPREMO IN `DISGUSTING PARENTS’ SHOCK
 

A Salford Star Exclusive…

Star date: 17th September 2009

ST GEORGE’S PARENTS “DISGUSTED ME”

AMAZING OUTBURST BY SALFORD COUNCIL SCHOOLS HEAD…

Astonished councillors sat open mouthed during a full meeting of Salford Council yesterday as Councillor John Warmisham, Lead Member for Children’s Services, slagged off parents at the threatened St George’s School in Little Hulton…


Councillor John Warmisham, currently under pressure to resign following the Council’s child protection issues, was responding to a question from Councillor Ian Lindley.

The Tory councillor for Walkden South asked why no member of the council’s ruling Cabinet had turned up to the public meeting at St George’s last week, where the Schools Adjudicator was hearing the community’s views.

Warmisham responded: “I would have gone but it would have been like throwing a can of petrol…”

He continued… “The hate mail I’ve received from St George’s parents has disgusted me…It’s despicable and not becoming of a Catholic school. I was appalled by their behaviour and have never witnessed anything like it in 19 years…”

Meanwhile, Council Leader, John Merry, talked of “intimidation of a local authority by members of staff” and reiterated the Council’s intention to shut the school… “If this doesn’t go through the money available to build other Catholic schools will be taken away, it will not happen.”

Responding this morning to Councillor Warmisham’s outburst and John Merry’s accusations, St George’s Head, Phil Harte said:

It is extraordinary that elected members of the Council have allowed such a schism to develop – and we at St George’s have felt isolated for a number of years.  We have played our part in offering the elected members the opportunity to visit us and to communicate with our community. It might be the case that some elected members of the Council are losing touch with the very people who have supported them and placed them in office.

“There is clearly an urgent need for bridges to be built. I will be the first to offer the opportunities for discussions to plan for better future relations.”

A staff spokesperson at St George’s added:

“The people of Salford applaud the attempts to showcase their city such as Proms In The Park, however the grass roots are being ignored. To mercilessly destroy a school against the wishes of the community it serves is patently immoral and anti-democratic.

“In July 2006 the pupils, parents and staff decided not to capitulate but to stoically unite behind the governors of St George’s to uphold the position of the school in its total opposition to the Building Schools for the Future plan of Salford City Council.

“The Cabinet need to remove their blinkers and earplugs and hurriedly prepare Plan B.”

 

 

 

Paul Morgan wrote
at 12:43:30 on 05 October 2009
Do you recall Cllr Warmisham's support for those jobsworths who showed no compassion and ruined the career of the special needs teacher Linda Walker? She was the teacher who was jailed and released on appeal after she fired airgun pellets at the pavement in front of youths who had driven her to distraction by their anti-social behaviour. Warmingham,to my knowledge, never did anything to bring the youths to justice. But he did help to condemn the teacher who was imprisoned, humiliated and lost her livelihood. All power to the citizens of Salford who are showing us what kind of man(?????) this twerp really is.
 
Siobhan Gibson wrote
at 12:38:18 on 23 September 2009
As a parent of a Year 10 Pupil at St Georges, a relatively new pupil, I consider myself and my child exrtemely fortunate to have a place at St Georges. From the very start we felt a bond with St Georges and a loyalty and commitment towards it, to any right minded person this should say that we have something special within ourcommunity, something to be cherished and celebrated not destroyed for profit or because someone far remote from the situation set some funding rules which clearly dont work. Councillors personal opinions are and should remain irrelevant, thats not why thay are elected or paid a large salery. It is my right to have a good quality, Faith education of my choice within my local community and the councillors duty to provide that, not to obstruct me or this community from what is right and just. If you ignore what people are saying and they know their right, they only tend to shout louder Mr Councillor!
 
Terry Sosata wrote
at 13:18:47 on 21 September 2009
Warmisham should be feeling the heat right now and rightly so. Who in their right mind would vote a person in power who is going to respond to people voicing their democratic right in such a slanderous manner? Apologies expected from him? Don't be daft. This man has not got the decency to attend meetings with Salford citizens regarding this issue and will instead crawl back to his bunker with his CAMRA magazine. I would love to know who he models himself on, politically that is!
 
Lauren wrote
at 19:59:36 on 19 September 2009
Just thought I'd put in my two-pennyworth having seen my dad (Nigel)already do so. My sister Jemma currently attends the school in Year Ten and being brutally honest, she isn't and never will be the brightest child but since attending St Georges she is achieving above her expected grades in ALL subjects and thoroughly enjoys attending school. WHY do the councillors want to close such a school? I myself recently entered the school to research for a University project and I'd like to say that there was not ONE child running, shouting, throwing things, littering or swearing. They all wore the correct uniform and looked proud to be doing so. Compare this with the lovely CCTV footage of neighbouring Harrop Fold pupils who were not only out of lessons, but were trying their best to throw stones and drinks cans at a group of St Georges pupils participating in a PE lesson. I know which school I'd rather send any future children of my own to. Perhaps attending Harrop Fold myself has made me biased in my arguments but I believe that if any school should be shut down and merged it is Harrop Fold. I had one year of schooling as a Hulton High school pupil before it became Harrop Fold in my second year and I can honestly say, it was complete chaos. I recall teachers running from classes crying and having no steady science teacher for nearly two years. I was predicted 10 A grades and came out with just 3. Although I'm sure the current HeadTeacher (do they still have the same one? we had 4 in the space of 4 years) is improving the school slowly, it fails completely to achieve the fantastic standards that St Georges sets so effortlessly. This is a school which NEEDS to stay open so that pupils get the best. Not only this but most parents I know who have failed to gain a place at St Georges (or even Walkden High) would rather send their children an extra bus ride away to other high schools than have them attend Harrop Fold. How fair is it that children- especially in Little Hulton where there is now no school at all- will have to go even further from their community to get a good quality education? St Georges is the high school I wish I had attended and the high school I will choose for any future children of mine. These councillors need to get their head out of the ground and take five minutes out of their oh-so busy day to actually see the school, its proud parents, pupils and teachers and the magnificently high standards of not just academic achievement but of behaviour and maturity displayed by those pupils. Councillors, stop thinking politics and start thinking about the kind of education you want the next generation of councillors to have. Start thinking about the community you claim to serve and work for and what they want. And finally, consider putting yourself in the shoes of a St Georges parent...where would you want to send YOUR children?
 
BIG RED wrote
at 13:53:17 on 19 September 2009
A French poet Paul Valery wrote "Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs that properly concern them". In John Merry & John Warmisham we therefore have master politicians, using their smoke and mirrors to cast doubt on the values, beliefs and very character of their opposition - the ordinary voters of West Salford - the parents of St. George's. In regards to the hate mail Councillor Warmisham publish or be damned!!
 
Karen Mullineux wrote
at 10:57:25 on 19 September 2009
As a parent of two children at St.Georges, I attended the final meeting with the independent adjudicator Canon Richard Lindley. I just hope he can see straight through Counciller Warmisham and make the right decision. This closure is not about the children's education but about money and politics. How can you close an oversubscribed, high achieving school? Their is no sound educatonal reason to close this school. Counciller Warmisham is not interested in the views of the people from Little Hulton & Walkden whom I may add put him where he is today!
 
Bernardette Duggan wrote
at 18:12:41 on 18 September 2009
I worked at St Georges RC High School for 25 years in all that time i can honestly say John Warmisham or Ms Baker never once visited the school to look round or speak to the pupils so how do they no what the school was like, In all my working life working at St Georges was my most happiest time,I don`t think Salford Council should make the decision to close a very good school.Because St Georges is a very good school.
 
BIG AL wrote
at 18:12:19 on 18 September 2009
Just struck me that since Jill Baker has been suspended Councillor Warmisham will have had no one to feed him his lines! So now we see the real thing!
 
Janine wrote
at 13:16:30 on 18 September 2009
I can't understand how Mr Warmisham can expect parents to feel any other way, when he makes decisions regarding THEIR childrens education, without even giving them 1 MINUTE of his precious time!!! yes not one minute !!!
 
Rachel Dale wrote
at 04:55:11 on 18 September 2009
I myself with a son at that school and me once attending. Cannot believe the parents would speak out of context to John Warishome. We are sorry if they have but its just that we are so passionate about the school staying open,, and we do not feel that we have been heard enough in the past. It truly is a good school and a damn shame if it closes for me, and all the staff and parents who have children attend. We would not be so passionate now would we if we did not believe that. I just hope aswell as everyone else, that the Adudicator feels that it is worth keeping St George's open. I just hope that Adudicator Canon Richard Lindley understands and accepts all the feedback from all who attending the final meeting. It was an impressive meeting.
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 04:54:17 on 18 September 2009
Just a small thought Location of Salfords Education Office - The Crescent Location of the Salford Dioscean Education Office (as well as the Cathedral) - The Crescent Isn't it high time someone from the diocese actually started talking to someone from the council about the ramifications of their proposals. The council peddled closure in the late 80s/early 90s and it messed up pupils education then. We're back to the same situation that CHS/SL had and the walls built up around 'safe' schools I feel truly sorry for St Georges but i dont remember anyone from there moaning during the last round of enforced cuts from the authority, in fact i seem to remember letters in another publication lauding over the fact they were ok. Bottom Line People is this, If you dont reconsider this crazy 'surplus' system then from time to time this is going to happen, and if this was a State Run school we wouldn't be having this discussion. I've sat here reading the comments and cant help think of the last review of Diocese Education - thanks to the chattering classes FOUR good Secondary Schools in Salford have gone the way of the dodo - St Georges will make that FIVE - Can somebody tell me - is this truly a case of the tail wagging the dog? I believe All Hallows (A product of 3 amalagamations) will be moving to the Vacant Site now occupied by the Incoming Mediacity Academy Won't it make more sense...To leave the school where it is? or do the council already have plans drawn up? I Can't WAIT to find out.....
 
nigel wrote
at 17:10:37 on 17 September 2009
Crikey....but if this is what it takes to highlight our plight then Mr Warmisham has indeed done us a favour.The railroading of this whole issue by the educational fascists(my words, not the schools)sitting on the decision making Politburo is appalling. It's quie clear that a very (fiscally) loaded gun is being held at the educational Catholic community in Salford and the people involved (who I might add it does not affect) should be ashamed of their attitude, behaviour and in Mr Warmishams case choice of words...Shame on you
 
Salford Star wrote
at 15:51:18 on 17 September 2009
Hi Cllr Warmisham (see comment below)...These comments are not `out of context'...according to my notes that is exactly what you said - and you've virtually confirmed it, except you left out the word `despicable' which was also definitely said...The accuracy of the piece has been confirmed by the only member of the public who was present (see below)and def has no relationship with the Salford Star! Please don't shoot the messenger, sort the school out and keep it open! With attitude and love xxx
 
John Warmisham wrote
at 15:35:42 on 17 September 2009
I feel the sensational headlines and selective comment from me are taken totally out of context. I quite rightly said that I felt my presence would be like pouring petrol on a bonfire, but went on to say as a Roman Catholic I was disgusted at the hate mail and its content that I had received from SOME parents & supporters of St.Georges High School, particularly as they claimed to be Catholic Christians. The correspondence was indeed the worst I had received in 19 years as an elected member. I certainly did not slag off the parents or the school as you claim. Councillor Merry's statement about intimidation of Local Authority staff is factual as is if the adjudicator judges that St.Georges stays open it will mean the Catholic secondary estate will not be re-built.
 
Richard Carvath wrote
at 13:39:36 on 17 September 2009
I was there at full council yesterday when Warmisham said what he did. The Salford Star's report of what he said is accurate. I think it was a truly astonishing outburst! St. George's has my full support but we are waiting now for Schools Adjudicator Canon Richard Lindley to make his decision.
 
BIG AL wrote
at 12:39:39 on 17 September 2009
OMG this should be on the front page of every newspaper in the democratic world! The Councillor responsible for Education calls the parents in one of his schools "disgusting,dispicable and appaulling"........unbelievable...absolutely unbelievable
 
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