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Is Knowsley Council Waving Goodbye to its responsibility for educationon the quiet?

Location: UK » North West » L
Is Knowsley Council Waving Goodbye to its responsibility for educationon the quiet?

In 2007, under Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme, Knowsley council announced that its existing schools would be closed and merged to form new ‘Centres for Learning’ hailed as an exiting future and due to falling roles (The usual political spin).  Basically the truth was they were at the bottom of those lovely league tables and were told improve or else.  The first one opened in January 2009.

The way it was due to happen was as follows:

Higher Side Comprehensive in Whiston and Prescot Comprehensive merged to form Knowsley Park Centre for Learning on the site of Prescot Comprehensive

Bowring Comprehensive and Knowsley Hey School in Huyton merged to form Huyton Sports and Arts Centre for Learning on the site of Knowsley Hey

St Edmund of Canterbury and St Thomas Beckett Catholic Comps in Huyton closed and the remainder to form Christ The King Centre for Learning on a new site in Stockbridge Village

In Kirkby Ruffwood and Brookfield Comprehensives merged to form Kirkby Sports Centre For Learning on the site of Brookfield school

The best schools in the borough (Halewood Comp, All Saints Catholic Comp in Kirkby and St Edmund Arrowsmith in Prescot) all got to keep their existing identities and new builds on their existing sites, apart from Edmund Arrowsmith, who got a new build on the site of Higher Side school in Whiston.

Fast Forward to now, and the scheme has been an absolute waste of money.  Some of the new centres for learning buildings are falling apart, inadequate levels of space etc.  Huyton Sports and Arts, Christ The King, Kirkby Sports College all failed their recent OfSTED inspections, while Knowsley Park was given ‘Notice to improve’ in Michael Govespeak (Use to be satisfactory).  So the dreaded academy word has now started to appear.  But despite the local Labour Council being anti academy, nothing seems to be being done to stop it.  Kirkby Sports and Huyton Sports and Arts will become academies in September as a company called the Rowan trust takes over in Kirkby and a company called the Dean Trust takes over in Huyton.  Halewood became an academy in March, and according to the latest OfSTED doumentation, Knowsley Park will be heading down the Academy route very soon as one of the above mentioned trusts have been working in the school.  Christ The King is to close this month due to falling numbers and a failed attempt at academy status.  This leaves just 2 schools that Knowsley will have some control over in the whole borough.  But the council will still have to foot the huge PFI bill for the 7 schools despite no longer having an input in 5 of them.  Under Michael Gove, education is being sent backwards in time to the time of the haves and have nots, and privatisation is just around the corner (He’ll keep raising the bar for inspections till all state schools are deemed as failing and force them to become academies, which can set their own pay and conditions and do not have to employ qualified teachers) but the Neo Liberal Labour party (A disgrace to the name Labour in its current form), is just as guilty.

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