Friday, 16 April 2010

Why don't local people send their children to their local school?

I was sat with my friend across the road yesterday and we were moaning about schools and our kids and needs and......

She is in despair.
Her youngest, in year 8 is not happy at his school (all her kids went there, it was her local school before she moved) and they aren't meeting his needs there - he's severely dyslexic.

So I say to her, 'The school doesn't suit him'.

And she agrees, even though it's an 'outstanding' school.

So I say to her, 'City would suit him'.

And she agrees.

'But,' says she, 'how can I send him there when it's probably closing?'

And I have to agree.

If my daughter wasn't already there I wouldn't send her now, not because it isn't a great school, it is, but simply because, well, how can any parent deliberately put their child in a school they know might close?
If her son is unsettled now, how unsettled will he be in a school under threat and how much more damage will it do him if he has to go through closure when he's just moved school?

I've had several parents in the last week ask me if they should move their children now, before the rush.
It is so hard to tell them not to take them out, at least until we know the final decision.
I know it is nothing to do with City of Leeds being a bad school, none of them want their children to leave, none of them want the school to close, but they are so frightened that their kids will be stuck without a school to go to if they don't go now.

They are just worried, and so am I.

But, for me, it is about more than my daughter's school, it is about my community, my beliefs, my convictions.

My daughter will stay at City because City is the best school I know for her and while it is there she will have the benefit of the diversity and vitality and care it offers.
She will stay there because City is worth fighting for and there is so much more fighting left to do.
She will stay there because I won't abandon my faith in my community and I won't abandon my community.
She will stay there because it is the best school for all our children and taking her away from City would be the worst thing I could do for her.
She will stay there because, if I take my child away from City, how can I possibly tell others to keep their children there?

Fortunately, it's also where she most wants to be!

Children need local schools, inner-city children need them more than ever now that our communities are so hard pressed and our people are so much poorer than even 10 years ago.

The gap is widening and we are the victims of statistics.

Stand up 4 City
Stand up 4 local schools

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