Speaker after speaker, parents, teachers, other staff and supporters passionately made the case for Brent Labour Council not to close Strathcona School at tonight's meeting of the Labour Council's Cabinet. They pointed out flaws in the officer's report: incorrect data, the failure to consider the school's case for additional provision at the school and pointed out Brent's failure to market the school to address spare spaces. The Council itself had asked Roe Green Infants to operate on two sites with additional classes at Strathcona and the staff had fought hard to meet the challenge to make the two-sites operate efficiently despite them between 10 minutes drive apart. Now the Council was citing the expense of maintaining two sites, and the additional funding needed, as the reason for closing one of them.
|The crowded public gallery at the Cabinet meeting
Apologies for the shaky video at times - there was standing room only at this point in the meeting!
In a closing statement Butt made a speech that became a rant citing the leadership's responsibility to make 'hard decisions' and voice rising began to throw everything into the pot including the proroguing of Parliament in an increasingly incoherent justification for the closure. The headteacher of the school rose from her seat in the public gallery to inform him that as a school leader she knew what leadership really was and that it was not leadership that she has seen from Cllr Butt this evening.
The Cabinet voted unanimously for closure but with determined parents, staff and union we may not have heard the end of it yet.