Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Staff to strike over Strathcona school closure

From Brent National Education Union
Brent Council Cabinet voted on Monday to move to a Formal Consultation regarding the proposed closure of the Roe Green Strathcona site school. This was despite overwhelming opposition from staff, parents and the community to this during the informal consultation where a massive 463 written responses were received with only 3 in favour and 460 against (99.4%). A petition with 396 signatures opposing the closure was also delivered to the Council but was ignored too.
The Council also received an unprecedented letter from Brent North MP Barry Gardiner where he stated that there were so many flaws in the informal consultation that...
 If council officers had been actively trying to prepare a case for the closure of the school, these are precisely the measures they might have taken.
Brent National Education Union has highlighted the risks to staff jobs if Strathcona is closed – and they have conducted a ballot of their members for action which was overwhelmingly supported.  They are seeking an urgent meeting with Gail Tolley, Strategic Education Director, to try to resolve these concerns. Failing this NEU members will be on strike on 25th June.
Lesley Gouldbourne, Brent NEU Secretary, said :
It is extraordinary and shameful that Brent is refusing to listen to parents, governors and staff at Strathcona - a school in the top 3% of the country. At the same time as it is preparing to close Strathcona because it says there are not enough pupils, it has given planning permission for ARK Sommerville - a primary Free School in Wembley- to open! You do wonder what is really behind this proposal.
Brent Councillor Jumbo Chan said:
 It is disappointing Brent Council is proposing to close a local school, thus ignoring both staff and parents. The fact that there may also be a new academy being opened compounds this disappointment. Brent Council should reconsider its decision, and seek a new alternative.

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