The Raine’s Nov 2019 consultation

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After the issue of the statutory closure notice, the Council put on another public consultation. I went there tonight, despite having problems with my foot, and sat there for the duration.

All those council representatives gone on about was the past decisions, problems occuring in the past and that financially the school is not viable because nobody wants to go to the school.

Of course nobody can go to the school because they won’t let anybody enrol. Just the pupils who are now in year 11 have to go to the school because they started their GCSE courses there last year.

There is a residential trip forthcoming but some pupils would not want to go there because they would just be incredible sad all weekend because their beloved school is about to close and some pupils simply cannot cope with that.

I mentioned during the meeting, that my daughter actually started her secondary career off at Bishop Challoner school in Commercial Road; an area with an immense amount of traffic outside.

My daugher never had breathing problems before but when she started going to Bishop Challoner she started to get short of breath, kept on coughing and it became so bad that she was given a brown inhaler.

After two years she changed school to Raine’s Foundation, the school next to Victoria Park, and then, after about 1 1/2 years attending Raine’s her consultant told her that her breathing is absolutely fine and that she can throw away her inhaler.

So the council said that people did not send their kids to Raine’s because of the clean air in the past and then I said that in the past people weren’t aware of those climate emergency issues and surely if it is put to them now that a school like Raine’s in a healthier air environment is good for their children, they would surely prefer to send their kids there.

Health first

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The best part about being a human is being as healthy as possible. At least that is what we are striving for.

Here in Tower Hamlets, school children are thought to have 10% less lung capacity, compared to children in rural areas.

Tower Hamlets schools are normally encoached in busy traffic areas, with roads, right, left and centre.

For example Bishop Challoner School is unfortunately a good example of a school being in a totally traffic polluted area. The school is judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted because of exam results only. The school is siutated in Commercial Road.

For Ofsted good results are everything, they do not consider other health considerations when they judge a school, which I think is very sad indeed.

On the other hand, Raine’s Foundation school, is a secondary school situated near Victoria Park, an area classified as almost suburban, with leafy streets, access to Victoria Park for PE and much less traffic, as roads around the building are one lane only.

Raine’s Foundation school is classified as ‘in need of improvement’ by Ofsted and because of this, parents won’t apply to send their kids there.

Parents as well as Ofsted only care about exam results.

Tower Hamlets Council  now wants to close Raine’s Foundation school because of the poor exam results, poor in comparison to national results.

Why does nobody care about the children’s health? Isn’t it better to run a school in a healthy area because the kids will be better off throughout their life, if their lungs breathe healthy air?

I personally want to fight to keep the school open just to give children the chance to attend a healthy school. Because sacrificing health in exchange for good exam results will have long-lasting effects on the children’s health.

Access to green spaces, a nice playground, a nearby park will have a great effect not only on children’s mental health but also the physical health.

I want everybody to write to their MP to ask for support to change the classification criteria for schools in respect of a healthy environment.

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