Monday, July 02, 2007

Ridings School closure

It seems the Ridings school is likely to close. I have written about the wider issues surrounding the Ridings before on this blog and I broke the original story about the Ridings when I was a cub reporter.

I am going to make a radical suggestion. The pupils have been let down by gutless politicians (most notably, as I talked about in my previous post, at a national level). They are to be transferred to other schools. Which schools? Well, of course, this is a one off situation, outside the ambit of the destructive 11 plus system which dominates Halifax education. So why not send them all to two of the closest secondary schools: The Crossley Heath School and North Halifax Grammar School, which just happen to be the two selective schools in Halifax?

Just let me pessimistic and cynical for a second. I have a sneaking feeling that not a single boy or girl will end up in either of those schools even though all the other schools that will be doing their bit to accommodate the pupils will be breaking their entrance procedures to allow them in. Because, you see, the whole point of Grammar Schools is to keep the oiks out.
Update: The more I look at this, the more outrageous the conduct already seems to be. Is the gutless procedural amorality never going to end? Here it is in black and white from the councillor in charge of education in Halifax: "Children attending The Ridings are not receiving an adequate standard of education." Let's quit the fannying around and say there is now no doubt that the school will close. Absolutely no doubt. The Pope will take to wearing Ra-Ra skirts, a thong and leg warmers before this inevitability will be reversed. (Hey, maybe he does?) They have to consult but it is over. The unions, the councillors, the central education institutions are just dancing a last tango, playing their prescribed roles.

And yet, correct me if I have read this wrong, they are going to recruit an intake of pupils into the Ridings this September! Into the school where the head councillor freely admits they will not receive an adequate education. And they are going to leave them there not for one year, when they will shut it off to new entrants, but two years! And don't tell me the situation is not going to get worse in the Ridings in that time. And then what? Off to the Halifax High School for a bit of a race riot?

Perhaps I am just a little naive. Perhaps the "procedures" mean you cannot possibly do an emergency redistribution of pupils at this late stage of secondary admissions. Perhaps it would lead to court cases from teachers at the Ridings saying the decision had not properly been consulted on? Perhaps there would be a bit of a squash in the classrooms of the receiving schools. I don't know. But surely this is a situation where the councillor should, as someone once memorably said, put his "nob on the block" and make a brave decision and try to get the Halifax head teachers together to do something right.

1 comment:

Rockstar said...

Strong feelings here!