SALFORD CITY COUNCIL
Yes, it's been an eventful year in Salford's schools, with exam results getting better and the school building programme getting worse.
Highlight of the secondary year was the incredible fiasco around St George's RC High which the Council was determined to shut, against all opinion in the community. Fortunately for St George's the Schools Adjudicator agreed with the community that you don't shut popular schools and St George's has won its long and bitter battle for survival.
The victory has thrown Salford's Building Schools for the Future programme into chaos with another Schools Adjudicator meeting over the merger of Moorside and Swinton schools cancelled at the last minute. But don't worry because the Council is spending £140,000 on outside consultants to "advise the City Council on the future organisation of its schools".
The primary school sector didn't fare much better. Despite being warned in a confidential report to its Cabinet last year of "potential overcrowd" in Langworthy, Weaste, Ordsall and Seedley primary schools, the Council's continuing to shut three schools in the area, and squeezing the kids into one bright shiny new building – that's too small, of course.
The three schools it's closing – Langworthy Road, Seedley and Tootal Drive – have a total current roll call of 534 pupils, while the new primary in Glendinning Street is being built for just 420 pupils.
Meanwhile, the new Wheatersfield Primary School is due to open in Lower Broughton, by 2011, with a "possible shortfall" of places by 2013, according to the Schools Adjudicator. It's being built with a special `escape route' attached as it's sited slap bang in the middle of a flood plain.
And so it goes on…and on.
Ladies and Gentlemen. There could only be one winner of the `GO STAND IN THE CORNER' AWARD FOR SCHOOL BUILDING…
S-a-a-a-lf-o-o-o-rd Ci-i-i-ty C-o-o-o-u-u-n-c-i-i-i-l
We would have liked the Director of Children's Services, Jill Baker, to pick up this MARY – but unfortunately she's unable to be here as she's been sacked by the Council.
If Jill or anybody else who's left at Salford Council's Children's Services would like to make a speech please fill in the Comments box below