Schools beware

raines school

Raine’s Foundation, C.o.E. Secondary in Bethnal Green

Yesterday’s ruling on the Raine’s Foundation case against London Borough of Tower Hamlets was wedged firmly in favour of the council. Of course the case was brought by a pupil and their legal team.

Unforunately I thought the arguments were really weak on the side of the claimant, making it very easy for the defendant to win outright. I had no input whatsoever into the legal case.

This case however sets a very dangerous presedence for schools. It means that if your pupil roll falls in two successive years, your Education Authority can apply to set pupil intake to zero the following year and announce a planned closure prior to any consultation having taken place.

This case centered solely around the duty to consult prior to inducing closure proceedings and in this case the judge found that councils cane induce closure proceedings prior to consulting.

Yet, Governing bodies do have a duty to constantly watch the financial health of a school, which solely relies on pupil numbers to get sufficient funding to run it.

Who runs governing bodies, it’s the local councils. Councils put Local Education Authority Governors onto school governing bodies and the minutes of those governor meetings are run via the Local Authorities Governance Services.

So whose responsiblity is it if schools run dangerously into financial trouble due to a lack of ready action plan when pupil numbers fall in successive years?

Slacking on monitoring will mean that councils simply close down schools that suffer a lack of attendance, may that be due to changing demographics or other factors. That can have a very adverse effect on the local community.

Unfortunately it has become a trend to just shove people around. Councils move them out of the borough to allow local housing to be occupied by rich investors who chose to let the flats/houses to the wealthy with fewer children, which diminishes a demand for local authority school places.

Schools get closed or amalgamated if rolls fall with little punishment for the local education authority who failed to induce their LEA governors to avoid a sudden change.

The council argued that it is easier to set pupil numbers to zero and not allow any pupils into a school rather than allow them onto the roll to disperse them onto other schools later. That means, education authorities will have a means to deny childen education at a school of their choice.

In fact the number of schools can be diminished sharply over a period of 2 years the most.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog Stats

  • 52,819 hits