Friday, February 22

School Punch Up

The talking point locally for the last few months or so has been Cumbria County Council plans to shut Thorncliffe, Alfred Barrow and Parkview schools and replace them with a single 1,200-pupil academy. Even when the plans were first made public most local folk I talked to about it were dead set against the idea. But just as predicted by a lot of my passengers, and despite strong public opposition, the authority’s cabinet unanimously backed the plans and agreed it should proceed with a process to shut the secondary schools in August 2009. The council says it wants to transform the secondary system to improve standards and buildings. But most local folk remain unimpressed and the feeling is as one of my passengers put it “it’s just like a factory really, and the bigger the factory the cheaper the processing cost per; unit produced.” Unfortunately in this case the units in question happen to be our local schoolchildren. Others fares point out the traffic chaos near the proposed site at school starting and leaving times already, and predict total gridlock and an increase in traffic accidents. Some parents tell me that they will struggle to find the cash to fund the expensive new school uniform that will no doubt be required, especially those with several kids. But the last word goes to some of the older kids I take to and from the affected schools. They tell me that all the schools involved have always had a fierce rivalry towards each other, and as one put it “we all fight out of school, so when they mix us all together in one school it will be one big constant punch up.”

4 comments:

Roy, Dublin Taxi Driver said...

I guess there are good arguements for both , the larger school should be better resourced

Tom said...

I know Parkview and Alfred Barrow are quite old buildings but Thorncliffe ( the old Tech) was only opened in 1964 and has been considerably expanded since then. Does anybody ask the question - what about all that money for such a relatively short space of time ?

I live near the Forth Road Bridge (opened September 1964) now with rusting support cables with the innards emitting ominous pings as the inner wires are starting to snap. Already a new bridge is planned.

I've heard of a disposable society but this is getting a bit silly.

Maybe 1964 was a bad year for the Civil Engineering industry.

Bob said...

Roy; Aye but we don't seem to get a say either way.

Bob said...

tom: maybe I am cynical but may it be something to do with the valuable building land that lays under the the buildings rather than the condition of the schools.