Scaremongering over Birkenshaw Free school places

A Letter to the Spenborough Guardian from Whitcliffe Mount Parent’s Association.

We read the article in last week’s Guardian about registering for the proposed free school.

Unless things have changed dramatically since we last heard anything this school has not yet been approved.

As far as we are aware the group looking to set up this so-called free school has been given approval to progress to the second stage of the application process.

Since then, after representations from locally interested parties with concerns, they have been asked to re-test the level of support/demand in the area. We do not consider the scaremongering approach of the article to be any kind of consultation.

The suggestion that you can now register and that if you do not hurry up and register then you might not get a place is downright misleading. There is no agreed or published admissions policy for the proposed school so how can anyone register?

This is a devious and underhand way of getting unsuspecting parents to appear to ‘support’ the proposed school. Nowhere in any of their literature do they explain that the local authority is currently providing sufficient places for all children in the current Whitcliffe Mount catchment (including Birkenshaw, Gomersal and East Bierley). Setting up this school will create 800 surplus places, places that will have to be funded by the local authority.

The diversion of authority funds to the ‘free’ school experiment, hard on the heels of the cruel withdrawal of the BSF funding for North Kirklees schools is impossible to justify, no matter how well it’s camouflaged.

How can it be right that at a time when all local services are being squeezed that the government can spend tens of millions of pounds on a school that is not necessary?

The Whitcliffe Mount Parents Alliance believes in a fair education for all children in North Kirklees, the proposed school will not provide this, it will in fact take funding away for Whitcliffe Mount a school that has already lost all its BSF investment under this government.

Please support our campaign Not Free, Not Here, and Not Now, and do not be tricked into ‘registering’ at the school gates!

via Spenborough Guardian

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