Day 67 – 3MPs not MP3s

We have had over 18,000 hits to this blog now – thank you. SMS gets air miles at 20,000 apparently.

Tonight (Monday) in Westminster, Nadine Dorries MP has gained an adjournment debate on the Bedfordshire School Organisation Review. This happens after normal Parliamentary business and is expected to take place between 9:30 and 10:30pm.

As reported in the T&C last Thursday, Nadine will quiz schools minister Ian Wright.

Nadine said “I want reassurances from the minister that there is no pressure from the government, financially or culturally, to convert to a two-tier schools system.”

“I will also be bringing up points which people have used, wrongly, to call for a change to the education system. I want to show that government funding does not depend on changing our schools, and to challenge the idea that children in three-tier systems are disadvantaged.”

“I will want reassurances that if such a change is to be made we should have a referendum on the issue.”

“It would be a huge change, with huge consequences and lasting effects – the mayor wasn’t elected with this in his manifesto, none of the parties were elected with this in their manifesto, so none of them should be able to decide without asking the people what they want.”

Ms Dorries added: “I have always been a three-tier person. What you see in Beds is good – small is good”

“I love lower, middle and upper schools, and the care that children receive there”

“Yes, there are problems, but for too long the approach has been ‘Well, we’ll ignore this for now, as we will change to two-tier soon’ ”

“We have a three-tier system and if everybody got behind it I am sure whatever issues we have can be addressed very easily.”

On Tuesday, Hansard, the official record of Parliament, will be published, and a link to what happened will be placed here. Look out for it.

We will also ask Patrick Hall MP and Alistair Burt MP for their comments and blog those too.

Fight the change – TAKE ACTION NOW.

14 Responses to Day 67 – 3MPs not MP3s

  1. Ed Thomas says:

    Please could anyone explain the disappearance of Lincroft? Is this school now proposed for closure?

    As we know the consultation document proposes to turn Lincroft into a secondary school. However, included in the Bedfordshire on Sunday was a leaflet produced by Sharnbrook Upper School promoting their support for reorganisation, this document strongly suggests all North Bedfordshire children, including those in the current Lincroft middle school catchment would transfer to Sharnbrook at 11, as these parents and residents received this leaflet. Is there a change of plan or have I been misled?

    • KDev says:

      Watch out for the spin. As far as I know Lincrioft will become “hard federated” to Sharnbrook and others. Hard federation means in effect one school, one executive Head, one Governing Body but lots of sites. Hard federated foundation/trust schools have a great deal of freedom in how they organise themselves. So whatever happens keep watching for the “fine print” in anything to do with the North Bedfordshire Education Trust.

    • Helen says:

      Propaganda is always cause for concern but this leaflet is particularly alarming.

      The top of the leaflet has the words ‘North Bedfordshire Schools Trust’, readers will assume, by implication, that the Trust is in favour of 2 tier.
      This is by no means the case.

      I wonder if all the staff at Sharnbrook Upper are even in favour? The Head and Chair of Governors are entitled to their opinion but should have only had their names, and theirs only, in the publication.

      Am i being sceptical too, when considering the wording on the back of the leaflet? “No school funds were used in the distribution of this leaflet”…..not in the distribution maybe but what about the publication?

      • KDev says:

        Have not seen the leaflet in my part of Bedford. What is the opinion of the Middle School in North Bedfordshire Schools Trust that is staying clear of the Hard Federation?

      • Liz says:

        To clarify things for you Helen,
        No school funds were used in publication or distribution.

  2. JamesD says:

    So it is becoming clear – It is the hard liners of North Beds Schools Trust who are driving this proposal for structure change so that they can get their hands on the BSF money before it runs out. As I V Dzhugashvili quoted yesterday “Some schools governors just will not do as they are told”.
    Mike Berrill of Biddenham appears to want 3-Tier but his 3-Tier, the Lower Schools just want to survive and people want schools in their communities. Are most the North Beds Schools Trust being used as propaganda by the Head and Chair of Governors at Sharnbrook before they have all been consulted?

  3. River Song says:

    Interesting. Can we still have trust in this trust when it is being used to manipulate the debate in this way?
    The leaflet smells of desperation, in my opinion. Oh yes, and these governors who will not be pushed around – keep up the good work! We need you to stnd up for the future of our children in this area.

  4. PT says:

    I do wonder about the true purpose behind this Sharnbrook/Lincroft federation. At one of the public meetings the head of Lincroft stood up and made a long prepared speech about how successful his school was and why its strong federation with Sharnbrook was so important to it. It’s only in the last few days that I’ve learnt that the federation was only started in April (after a very short consultation with parents) just a few weeks before the School reorganisation “consultation” was started.

    I really hate conspiracy theories but you really do have to wonder, don’t you ?

    Oh, and by the way, it turns out that Lincroft is no more succesful than certain other non-federated middle schools in Bedford Borough.

  5. Ed Thomas says:

    I wonder why this leaflet did not fully explain how Sharnbrook and Lincroft are going to operate??? instead of misleading the whole of North Beds!

    My questions:
    1. Which pupils (catchment) will be going to Sharnbrook in Oakley?
    2. Which pupils will be going to Sharnbrook in Sharbrook?
    3. Will Lincroft be for years 7 – 9?
    4. Why is there no sixth form at Oakley?
    5. Will GCSE’s on the Lincroft Campus be initially taught by existing middle staff?
    6. Without knocking down the existing site, is the Lincroft buiding fit to be a secondary school, where are the 18 state of the art Labs going to go? as all pupils should expect the same facilities, experiences and opportunities as if they were at Sharnbrook?
    7. Sharnbrook’s current GCSE A – C’s is 71%, what will be the improvement? An extra 10%? Maybe 20%

    Instead of this leaflet, please could I have a document which states the plans and finanical breakdown

  6. Ed Thomas says:

    Sorry pressed summit by mistake I know some spelling mistakes and I meant middle school staff.

    As I am sure Mr Clemence wouldn’t miss a good blog on schools. I look forward to reading your new, detailed and informative leaflet in the next Bedfordshire on Sunday. By the way, the Indian Restaurant Leaflet recieved at the same time is far more useful and includes a highly impressive breakdown of costs!!!

  7. William says:

    One of my questions is what happens to the pupils that live in areas like Great Barford and Roxton and would normally attend middle schools in Bedford Borough and then go to upper school at Sandy Upper which is in central beds – If it goes 2 tier where do they go beween year 7 & 9?

  8. Leodis says:

    Ah William – one of the great unanswered questions of the consultation evenings! The borough would only say they would enter into negotiations with Central Beds once a decision had been made. However, as a good proportion of the children attending Alban live in Central Beds there is the issue of where they will go other than Alban from y5. As for those living in the borough who would have fed to Sandy Upper – they will either go to Mark Rutherford for two years in y7 before transferring to Sandy or stick with MR. Neither is a satisfactory solution as it negates the current parental choice on both counts.

    One parent said that because of the ages of her children she could have one at Sandy, one at Alban and one at MR if this went ahead. They’ve not thought it through.

    Oh and Alban is outstanding according to Ofsted and MR has only just come out of Special Measures. Not only that but the mythical 100 children they are doing this for (that is the number of children currently not achieving the 5 A*-C’s on the borough stats) are most likely the ones who are at Sandy Upper from Alban – who don’t appear on the borough’s figures.

    Hmmmm…it doesn’t add up in pretty much every way!

  9. Sue says:

    There are children who live in Central Bedfordshire, eg Sandy, who attend schools in the Borough. They now transfer to Alban. Under the proposed changes Alban will close. What do these children do in the future for years 7 and 8? Transfer to a middle school in Central Bedfordshire for 2 years before transferring to Sandy Upper? Hope that the negotiations between Central Bedfordshire and the Borough secure them certainty of transfer to MR (should they want it -which I guess they will if that is where all their clasmates are going)? I certainly would feel very uneasy, to say the least, with no assurance of where my child will stand were my child in this position.

    A further thought. There are children who live, and attend lower schools, in Central Bedfordshire, who would currently transfer to Alban Middle. Under the proposals Alban (an excellent school with an outstanding Ofsted – not hurt to reiterate this point of Leodis’ again!)will close. Do the parents of these children realise this? Have they been consulted? Can they submit views to the consultation process even though they do no live in the Borough, as they will be affected by the proposed change?

  10. I really don’t know about you, but I think the writer forgot the most important thing with regards to doing this.

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