Saving Raines

rainespen

This armband and pen is given to pupils collcting their results.

After their Judgement of Solomon, Tower Hamlets Council made an amazing climb-down and withdrew their application to stop the admissions to zero for the school-year 2019/20, e.g. the year 7 intake. Also year 10s can now continue their education at Raine’s.

Parents were literally sent from pillar to post with letters sent that all pupils with year 7 places in 2019 need to change schools, which promply many did. Now, suddenly the council amended their policy and pupils can now attend year 7 of Raine’s. There are 150 places available, as permitted by the Office of the School Adjudicator.

That should infuriate the many who made plans, changed them, and are asked to change them again. Whilst the Council offered parents who changed schools a grant of £115 for a new school uniform, they should now also offer all parents who already bought uniforms for other schools and now need to switch back to Raine’s uniforms extra money to do so.

The Council pubished yesterday on 15. August 2019 at 10:36 a.m. Report on the outcome of the public consultation on the closure of Raine’s school and the expansion of Oaklands. A decision will be published on 25. September 2019, after which a further consultiation period will be made available till the end of this year.

Interestingly the withdrawal of the council’s application to stop further pupil admissions has not been mentioned in this report.

Parents were effectively scared to leave Raine’s and move pupils to Oaklands by Pupil Services at the Town Hall. This had been done illegally prior to any consultation taking place. This did a considerable amount of damage to Raine’s because year 6 pupils, wanting to transfer to Raine’s were told they could not do so, even when they had places allocated.

Of course it will considerably raise the costs of the school when the school doesn’t know within the normal period of time how many pupils, if any at all, they will have to educate during the following year.

revision-books

A pile of revision books given at the start of the holidays, what holidays?

However from the perspective of a Raine’s parent, the situation with the school looks very good. The Raine’s Foundation School website has had a major overhaul and we are now even able to use an App to keep abreast of developments.

We are adamant that Raine’s is an excellent school with brilliant teachers and provides a great basis for pupils to achieve best results. My daughter is already revising for next year’s GCSE’s.

See what Mickey Ambrose has to say about it.

 

 

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Government investigates Tower Hamlets again

Apparently people like Sylvia Pankhurst and Danny Boyle are among a high-profile string of supporters of the Raine’s Foundation Trust and Steering Group and the many grateful parents and pupils who happily attend the school.

This new investigation is mainly concentrating around the illegal attempt by Tower Hamlets council, trying to close Raine’s Foundation, Church of England Secondary school and Sixth Form prior to a consultation.

Tower Hamlets Council made an application to the Government Schools Adjudicators in May for a zero published admission number (PAN), cutting the future pipeline of the school. A final decision on this application was due for February 2020. Yet the council already and illegally informed all new year 7 pupils, who had been given confirmed places for the year 2019/20 at Raine’s, that they had to leave Raine’s and be placed in other schools, mainly Oaklands.

Whilst the council told parents at meetings that there were only 29 viable applications for a year 7 place at Raine’s, for 2019/20, further evidence suggests that there were actually 70 – 100 pupils applying for places.

Incidentally all year 9s were also told by the council they could not progress to year 10 within the Raine’s Foundation school and should continue their education at Oaklands school.

Raines Foundation Interim Executive Board (IEB)

Whilst the previous board of governors were dismissed, acussed of being unable to run the school, an Interim Executive Board was put into place.

The school advertised a position of parent governor but we were told at the last meeting with the borough that no suitable person could be found to fill the post. I had applied for it. As a former LEA school governor, I should be more than qualified. But I suppose they didn’t want anybody on the board who would want to put a spanner in the works of their devious plans.

In the interests of ‘transparency and openness’it might be interesting to see what the Interim Executive Board (IEB) of Raines Foundation secondary school have been getting up to and you can download all ten documents here.

Raine’s Foundation hired Irwin Mitchell Solicitors who went to the High Court and obtained a judgement including directions to Tower Hamlets Council that they have to write to all parents and pupils who were originally told that they cannot continue their education at Raine’s that they now can continue their education there.

Yet, the council, to date, has not followed that order of the judge.

There are now new applications in preparation to again go to the court for further orders by the solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

It seems very strange that the council tries every trick in the book to dismantle the only traditional school with a 300 year history in the borough.

Please also see a good article from  Wapping Mole though I would not want to go so far as to call for a return of Lutfur Rahman.

It is just really sad that our current Labour council under John Biggs, makes such dreadful decisions. John Biggs. It was a seriously political and administrative mistake to illegale incite the closure of a traditional Church of England school in Tower Hamlets. It will cost the Labour Party a lot of votes.

Tradition in Tower Hamlets won an important step

A message from Mickey Ambrose:

“Please find attached the following news article which is online today and will appear in this weeks East London Advertiser – well done to everyone for getting to this stage with Tower Hamlets Council.

Children can join Raine’s in September, say lawyers | Politics | East …

Raines is open for all years come September 2019 and the local authority on the instruction of the High Court have to write to all the year 6’s they turned away initially who were offered a place at Raines for this September and they have write to all the year 9’s they turned away to join other schools. The Sixth Form is Raines Sixth Form and NOT Oaklands Sixth Form.

More details to follow now we have to win the WAR as this is not over yet……..

ALL YEAR GROUPS ARE OPEN FROM SEPTEMBER 2019 – and anyone that has been bullied into leaving can return to Raines this September – please inform your family & friends that the school is open for business.

Thank you.”

Our residents will be relieved to hear it.

Personally I am not particularly religious anymore. I like the school because the teaching standards are high and the Church isn’t too pragmatic and despite forcing pupils to take religion at GCSE, religion itself is more tolerant and open-minded.

We have to see that it is important to have a traditional school in Tower Hamlets, which is suddenly overrun with new Academies and Free schools.

Whilst I support a recent campaign by Humanists to stop forcing relgious assemblies on all schools, I see the importance of making everybody feel important and as part of the community.

Not alienating any religious beliefs is an important corner stone to community cohesion, which thrives by the non-hate campaign.

Whilst the High-Court has forced the Council to write to all parents, that their kids can attend Raine’s C.o.E. school, the High Court also has granted permission to challenge school-worship law.

I support both. I think that the Church of England is modern and open-minded enough to see the importance of secular and unitary education.

Sexist Tower Hamlets

Please can anybody who has the time to support a protest at the Tower Hamlets Council Town Hall next week on 17. July 2018 from 17:30 onwards. Many parents from the school will be attending an academic reward evening that the brilliant Raine’s Foundation hosts for hard-working pupils at Raine’s Foundation school on that day.  Please read the latest up-date on the protest in an East London Advertiser article.

So far the protests have brought the council to amend the consultation documents on 3. July due to the legal pressure that the Steering Group has brought.

Raines-summer-concert-2019

End of term summer concert, which the new headmaster Patrice Cavanan failed to attend.

Any plans to transfer pupils to Oaklands school are not very popular. Tonight’s school concert was not even attended by Patrice Cavanan, the Oaklands head teacher who is now in charge of Raine’s.

It does’t matter how many rainbow flags and rainbow pedestrian crossings Tower Hamlets has installed, when it comes to education, they give boys’ education preference by using a simple trick.

The agenda of the full council meeting on 17. July 2019 lists 3 petitions:

CCTV, Stepney Green school, Raine’s Foundation school.

By only counting the signatories on petitions for schools from residents actually living in Tower Hamlets, the council ignores almost half the Raine’s school signatories and gives the school less importance than Stepney Green because they received more Tower Hamlets based signatories simply because the parents who want to stay that school boys only reside in Tower Hamlets.

Local parents want to prevent Stepney Green school from becoming a mixed school and want it to stay boys only.

Of course this shows that there are a lot of parents in Tower Hamlets who prefer boys education alone and who do not want girls mixed up. A time-lapse into old-fashioned values perhaps? Malala has been shot for defending girl’s education.

Raine’s Foundation school, is Church of England affiliated and provides an excellent all-round education for children from all genders. The school runs an online petition. To date 2,859 have actually signed the petition but the council counts less than 2,000 signatures because they don’t live in Tower Hamlets.

Yet the catchment area for Raine’s isn’t exclusive to Tower Hamlets, pupils are coming from all the neighbouring boroughs but the council only counts signatories from Tower Hamlets itself.

That is highly discriminating. Hence the parents that want a school to stay a boys school get more time at the council to debate their issue than the parents who want their school for all to stay open.

 

 

Health first

action activity adult athletes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

The Tower Hamlets dictatorship

If I understand correctly that every pupil has the right to choose a school to their liking, to apply for attendance to get an education.

Once in a school, then pupils still have the right to apply for another school for an in-term transfer to any school of their choice.

Yet in Tower Hamlets the council wants to dictate to parents what school to send their children to because the council decides to close a school down.

Without any consultation of parents the council made arrangements with Oaklands school to take over pupils from Raine’s Foundation school once they closed this brand new school.

That is not within the merits of our legal framework as it doesn’t allow pupils to make any choices and the council also did not ask parents whether they would agree to the scheme in the first place.

What makes the situation doubly difficult is that Ofsted has declared Oaklands to be an excellent school and Oaklands pupils also had some very good results last year. But, their pupils are not very polite.  I would have expected that brilliant students also have brilliant and polite personalities but that is not the case.

My daughter was sent to Oaklands in March of this year as one of the best Math students from Raine’s Foundation to take part in the AMSP Maths Feast. She was greeted with shouts of Raine’s are not going to do well. That really ruined the atmosphere.

oaklands head apology

Letter of apology from Oaklands school to Raine’s parents

Now parents went for visits to Oaklands to see whether they want to send their kids to the school and were openly insulted by pupils shouting F….k o..f Raine’s.

This promped the head teacher to make a written apology to Raine’s parents for the bad behaviour of pupils hoping that parents will still send their kids to the school as it is save.

Obviously the whole scheme is flawed from start to finish. An education authority should never dictate to parents what school to send their kids to.

I don’t think that good exam results alone are a good indicator that pupils will actually be welcome at a school when that school has a certain ethos that is determined by one particular class of pupils.

I have now written to Ofsted because I think that the process to shut Raine’s and transfer pupils without formal consulation is legally flawed.

Ofsted should never stop inspecting schools. Even the best schools should get an inspection at least every 5 years and there should be a better ability of parents to contact Ofsted directly if they feel they cannot make themselves heard at the school.

Unfortunately with those constant ministerial changes of our current Conservative government it is literally impossible to get heard. The cut-backs of civil cervants makes government departments under-staffed and any communications do not get read properly with excuses that they need to await a new minister to take up the post.

The school and council should have consulted with all parents prior to making any arrangements. The school did arrange a meeting with the head of Oaklands schol but parents weren’t told that an amalgamation was on the cards and so the meeting was very sparsely attended. Parents were clearly told in the spring that nothing would change to the education arrangements in the future. See notification-of-change-of-leadership-arrangements

We have now decided to not even consider a place at that unhospitable Oaklands school.

Yet in Tower Hamlets

Whilst I am positive about the Labour win in Peterborough for tactial Brexit reasons, I must say that the Labour council here in my home borough of Tower Hamlets has caused a lot of concern to local parents, pupils, teachers and school staff for wanting to close down a Christian Secondary school to amalgamate it with a non Christian council run school, which mainly caters for Muslim pupils.

Please sign an online petition against the closure.

The way the council goes about this is illegal. Also the Council has published a petition against the closure on its website without telling anybody in writing that it was there. So nobody signed the petition on the Council’s website but thousands of people signed the petition on change.org as aboe.

The closure was announced to parents and pupils at a highly stressful time. Just prior to year 11 pupils sitting their GCSE exams they received a letter from the council’s Corporate Director for Children and Culture Debbie Jones stating that the school is to close.

This caused immense stressed to the pupils who didn’t know anything about this.

What is also worth mentioning that the letter was addressed to pupils directly and not to the parent or carer of the pupil.

The new term to start in September 2019 has pupils who have applied for year 7 places and the Cabinet member for Children, Schools and Young People, Labour Councillor Danny Hassell has written to me defending his decision to cancel all year 7 places because the school is undersubscribed and because the school was visited by Ofsted and found to be in need of improvement. Also our local Labour Councillor Sirajul Islam supports the closure of this Christian school in Tower Hamlets.

It is obvious that there are many other solutions rather than close the school. The council refused to finance another Church of England headmaster financially who was drafted in to help.

At the same time the council has decided to close the school and disperse and transfer current pupils to the nearby Oaklands school or other schools by 2020.

Yet, yesterday on Facebook, the Council’s post, which promoted healthy air in the borough stated that no decision about the closure of the school has been taken yet and the decision is put off because of a pending public consultation.

The Council’s website lists the process here

The consultation is now open till 24. July 2019.

I think that the council has acted unlawfully and already decided about the closure of the school prior to even running the public consultation, which is not open yet.

Parents were invited to a meeting 7. May 2019. which was very badly conducted. In fact the council officer running the meeting, kept on grinning and smirking at parents.

There is now a public demonstration planned outside the school on

14. June 2019 between 3 – 5 pm. Approach Road, London E2

It has to be said that Raine’s Foundation has a brand new state of the art building, which cost millions to erect and is only about 4 years old. The school is in a lovely location, near Victoria Park and has a great quality of location to it.

Unfortunately only 1 Conservative councillor and 1 Liberal Councillor are prepared to support the school staying open. It is very sad that the Labour Council sees it as an easy option to close a Church of England run school with Christian values.

It seems that only a Judicial Review will help this problem. Please get in touch if you can help. And please we do not want a radical atmosphere during the demonstration.

The school has found support by other publications.

Further reference from East London Lines.

East London Advertiser 

 

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