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SALFORD COUNCIL V ST GEORGES SCHOOL
 

Star date: 24th February 2010 

`We're Not Picking on St George's – Honestly!'

"There is no agenda here" – John Merry

Salford Council Leader, John Merry, went as far as issuing a specific quote yesterday, indirectly denying that there is still a plot to close St George's RC High School, following the Salford Star story last week…

Full story here…


Last week, when the new plans were revealed for Salford's highs schools, the Salford Star ran a story that there was still an option to close St George's school, following the Schools Adjudicator's decision to keep it open.

Yesterday, as Salford Council approved the plans which leave the city's Catholic schools in limbo, Council Leader John Merry issued an unprecedented statement denying that there was a conspiracy to shut the school after its long and bitter battle with the Council.

"There is no agenda here" he stated "I want to make it absolutely clear that our proposal for St George's is for its refurbishment on the existing site. What we are asking Catholic schools and the diocese for is more options if they have any, simple as that."

While Option 2 includes refurbishment, Option 1 for St George's still includes "the possibility of closures and amalgamations, which would make a new building a viable possibility".

While the Oasis Academy MediaCityUK is being built for 900 places, even though it's going to be, according to Council projections, over 60% empty, the Council is insisting that St George's (with no surplus capacity) cannot be re-built on its existing site because it currently has only a 549 capacity and "a principle has been adopted that no school would be rebuilt at less than 900 places".

However another faith school, The Beis Yaakov Jewish High School, was recently re-built with a capacity of 275 places. The plot thickens…


* Read the Council Schools Press Release here

 

See previous St George's School articles here and here

Salford Star wrote
at 11:23:14 on 03 March 2010
See John Merry's comments below...It does state very clearly in the article that refurbishment is an option - but any new build for St George's would rely on "closures and amalgamations". Don't need to ask you, it says it in black and white. But your views are always welcome, as you know...
 
John Merry wrote
at 11:15:06 on 03 March 2010
Do you not think it a good idea to read the decision of the Cabinet which makes it clear what the decision was. It states in black and white that refurbishment is the way forward for St Georges and your attempts to try and revive the story are weak to say the least. Perhaps if you had bothered to ask me about we might have been able to clear this up
 
Brian F Kirkham wrote
at 19:34:27 on 01 March 2010
It Seems like the cloth of principle has been cut to suit the needs of the executive rather than the actual users of the system - the pupils. Theres a very easy open door for all parties to use in order to sort out this surplus places mess. Throw it out to a referendum. I'd be quite happy to help draft the question - and i wouldn't ask to be paid fees like some of the consultants currently in the hire of the council. It would be posted out to all users of places affected by the changes - including the 'feeder' schools that currently service st georges. And would include the options as listed in Salford Stars Article. I've got no political axe to grind against the council - though as someone who actually went through the first round of chopping at Salfords Catholic Education System, still smiles at the Irony of the current situation. Whoever's in charge at the new education offices should really stop looking at projections and look at the actual needs of both present and future pupils attending said schools. If they don't - I see a horrid return to 1986 - Mergers and Closures galore - with the executive looking at only one thing - The Land they can flog to private developers. I'll say it again (Its obvious to the Educated but councillors haven't read it). Use of this crazy surplus places to justify closure just doesn't work and in the end you end up with Surplus Places again...TOO MANY PLACES>MERGE TWO SCHOOLS>NOT ENOUGH SPACE>REBUILD OR ADD ON>... And the wheel keeps turning, I keep on seeing these grand schemes every day, the most laughable now being the grand development of Media City on Salford Quays - where i believe Hope High is due to become MEDIACITY ACADEMY. The building hasn't been built and the institution exists in name only (V.Nice Blazers BTW) And because the council went into a huff and took its ball away money that went into that building might as well be thrown in the nearest foundation ditch at Hope High's new home - demolition beckons upon the move to the quays, as All hallows seems to be staying where it is. perhaps the faith school element only exists with the Diocesean Run VA schools ? If so, Cromwell seems to be alive and well and i've been teleported back in time to the sectarian 70s. I worked for experience (thats unpaid folks)twice at the council primarily at the education department and later on in my adult life at the councils highways department. I had happy times there but still to this day can't figure out how some decisions are reached. perhaps they look at a map and think...thats a nice area for a development, a new school, a dump (whatever) and lets just consult the consultants, who'll tell us anythings positive - since we're paying them. Its time the education department took a good look at its 'principles' - as they seem to hark back to the bad old days.
 
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