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SALFORD COUNCIL BSF PLANS CONTINUED
 

Star date: 17th February 2010 

SALFORD SECONDARY SCHOOL PLANS REVEALED…

St George's Closure Still An `Option'…Swinton and Moorside To Close…Hope High School Site To Be Sold…More School Refurbishments …Less New Build Schools… More PFI Schools…

The £140,000 worth of outside `advisers' have now reported and there are new moves on the giant chess board which houses Salford's schools…

Full story here…


Following the schools adjudicator's decision to save St George's RC High School in Little Hulton, the Council has today come up with a range of further options for the city's schools – one which pits the city's Catholic schools against each other and even, strangely, suggests that St George's may still close.

While giving three Catholic schools – St Ambrose Barlow, All Hallows and St George's – the option of refurbishment on their current site, the proposals suggest that if there is to be a new school built, one has to close or amalgamate with another to make it "viable".

Option 1 for St George's, for instance, states that "depending on the outcome of the proposal for St Ambrose Barlow school, St George's, in partnership with the diocese and other schools, be invited to submit alternative proposals, including the possibility of closures and amalgamation, which would make a new building a viable possibility"…

And the Council, in its press statement, firmly lays the blame on St George's - rather than the Children's Services Department which tried to push the flawed, unpopular plans through in the first place… "Closure of St George's would have provided pupils with the option to attend an enlarged, newly built St Ambrose Barlow, or one of the community schools in the area. It would have released extra funding from the sale of the then redundant site."

Presumably, to pay for the new options, All Hallows is now not going to be re-built on what will be the former Hope High site, and that land will be flogged off to fund the changes.

The proposals also mean more expensive PFI (Private Finance Initiative) schools which will have taxpayers picking up the bill for up to the next 40 years. The new build school that will replace the closed Swinton and Moorside High Schools will be PFI, as will the re-built St Patrick's RC HighWentworth High gets a partial new build plus refurbishment, instead of the new build of the original plans.

"We have still not completed our BSF journey" says Salford Council Leader John Merry "but I am confident that we are now back on the right road and heading in the right direction…"

…as opposed to the wrong road and the wrong direction last time proposals were put forward

See the full Council proposals here…

* 19th February 2010

Just received this comment from St George's Head Teacher, Philip Harte..

"I broke up for half term and I thought I had gone back in time!! Does Salford City Council never listen to the people ? I cannot accept that St George's and other Catholic High schools are being held to ransom because of the appalling mistakes that were made by this council. St George's is being made the scapegoat when the reality of the situation is the intransience of this council and their totally inept planning that has created this situation. I have said this many times and I will say it again YOU DONT CLOSE GOOD SCHOOLS councillors you build them up."

Bill Bradbury wrote
at 17:12:41 on 18 February 2010
PFI money? There is no such thing as a free lunch. I read that heads down south are wondering why they are having to pay huge interest payments for the next 25 years on the "private" school they have had built, usually re-named as an Academy. Obviously did not read the small print!!?? Having experienced over 40 years of scholl closures/mergers it is ALWAYS about saving money. When you see an Officer or Cllr. saying something different just watch their noses grow.
 
Brian Francis Kirkham wrote
at 07:15:42 on 18 February 2010
Will someone from the star please direct Mr Merry to my earlier comments...It appears he has'nt seen them. Once again someone in authority has flipped a coin and called HEADS or TAILS because the school adjudicator has found in favor of St Georges. St Georges is a fine school. It was also the bargaining chip used by the council to implement these crazy schemes. Spend X on All Hallows shifting sites (Q: WHY?) Its not so long ago this school had a large refit after it merged (for the second time) with Pope John Paul High (when it was Our Lady of Mt Carmel) Spend X on Ambrose Barlow with PFI Cash Spend X on St Patricks with PFI Cash All 3 schemes dependent on closure of St Georges, One Question - All hallows is now a Business & Enterprise College - Dont they qualify for PFI Cash? Second Question - Why is it Swinton / Eccles based schools get PFI Approved rebuilds but elsewhere gets conditions thrust on it? I would LOVE to hear the answers to these Questions.
 
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