Broomhill Bank ......
UPDATE 19 March in main article.
The first of three main reasons being put forward for the closure of this special school for high functioning children suffering from Autistic Spectrum Disorder is that parents have asked the Council to develop mainstream provision rather than further provision in Special schools. This assertion appears now to have been discredited for KCC has been unable to provide evidence for the claim and KCC’s Corporate Director of Education has now acknowledged that there is well-evidenced increased demand for Special School places.
The key problem that parents have had responding to the Consultation is the consistent failure of KCC to answer the central questions about the proposal to close. I have the same frustration and formally requested the answers to 11 questions from Mr Leeson, questions that are also being asked by parents at meetings and in writing. Sadly, his reply to me only answered three of these. The ‘Kent On Sunday’ newspaper also asked the same questions with little success. What is the point of a Consultation where the key facts are being hidden from parents, and can it really be regarded as legitimate?
This rather lengthy article explores the powerful case for keeping the Furness School open, albeit under a different name, and yet again exposes the failures of KCC over its mismanagement of the whole issue………
“We are scared"
Radio Kent interview with the parent of a child living in Folkestone who has only been offered one appropriate school for her son if the closure of Furness School goes ahead
a private Boarding School in Shropshire!
Sadly, this family is not alone, for if Furness Special School closes, there is little alternative appropriate provision for the high functioning Autistic Spectrum Disorder children for whom the redesignated school was set up in September, just six months ago.
|Breaking News (Wednesday afternoon) |
1) I have just received a letter from Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, following an informal KCC Cabinet Meeting on Monday. This makes clear that the closure of Furness School is not a foregone conclusion and that other avenues are to be explored, as there was a general view that there were many good reasons to try and retain such specialist provision. It was agreed that this view should be articulated at any public meeting.
2) The comment at the foot of this column suggests that Roger Gough, Cabinet Member for Education, who presumably was present at the above informal Cabinet meeting, is advising parents they do NOT need to look at schools or accept offers until the end of the Consultation. Many parents are indeed scared, these are families who have had to fight for proper provision for their children from an early age, not just in education, and are often highly stressed. Whilst this may be of considerable comfort it cannot take away the uncertainty. One parent who has visited a private school this week has been told they have to accept the place that has been offered, the next day or it will be lost. What should they do? I am not sure how I could answer them.
The article continued (before the above items arrived)....
This article is an update on my previous articles about the proposed closure of Furness School following gross mismanagement by those responsible for the school and its children. The school currently has just 31 pupils out of a capacity of 60, of whom 20 are high functioning ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) children who have joined the school following the bright future heralded last June in its redesignation as a school to cater specifically for their condition.
A meeting for the public and parents about the proposed closure took place last night; summary below.......
his article looks at updates on a number of previous articles about individual schools: the proposed resiting of Barton Court Grammar School at Herne Bay (updated 20 May); Castle Community College's Special Measures Classification; St John’s Primary School, Canterbury, headteacher resurrected; and the redesignation of Furness Special School.......