Well the cat is truly among the pigeons! I guessed it would happen at some point, well it seems that some have reached that point!…….
The Save Trentham High campaign is definitely back in the lime light once again. The EMB meeting last week where the decision to close THS and merge it with Blurton High on a site to be decided, was the catalyst and some may say the blue touch paper waiting to be lit!
Councillor Dave Sutton has come out and publicly stated that he thinks that the TAG are acting to save their school out of snobbery and a desire not to see the children of Trentham mix with the kids from the council estates of Blurton.
Councillor Sutton (pictured left)Ã‚ made his comments following a meeting of the city councils Children & Young Peoples Overview & Scrutiny Meeting yesterday.
He said: “They just don’t want their kids to mix with Blurton kids. I think they are just a bunch of snobs.
“It really does annoy me that they just want to stay where they are and don’t want their kids to have a state-of-the-art school,” he added.
Labour councillor Mark Davis also voiced concerns over any further delay in delivering the BSF programme.
He said: “It would be interesting to see where we would be in the league tables now if those new schools had opened two or three years ago, because I think there would have been a change in performance and it is very sad that that hasn’t happened.”
But TAG member Jules Teed who is also a Pitsnpots contributor hit back.
He said: “I think it is a bit unfair and inflammatory to accuse us of holding up the BSF process or being snobs.
“There are already mixed classes of Trentham and Blurton pupils at both schools, and we haven’t held anything up yet because we have only just come to the end of the statutory consultation period.”
The CYPO&S meeting also heard that the delay isÃ‚ having an effect on other schools across the city.
James Brindley High is in a state of disrepair and the school and it’s governors are desperate to have the school rebuilt as soon as possible. Wilf Stanforth, representing the school’s governing body also hit out at the Trentham campaign.
He said: “I could understand it if it just affected their own school, but it has held up the whole programme for two years now.
“Our school should have been demolished at least 10 years ago.
“We had some issues with the original plans for BSF and complained, but came up with a new business plan which has been accepted.
“These parents need to understand that the education of their children is more important than what happens to the school.”
Ged Rowney, Director of Childrens Services, called on councillors to push on with the plans for the transformation of secondary education.
He said: “I am still very bullish that we will deliver the plans, but as a city council you have a history of not delivering the BSF plans. The problem is that we have been talking for seven years now and it really needs to move on.”
The TAG had seemed to have cross city support, but in recent Sentinel articles some contributors (not me Truth Seller!) had questioned whether the reluctance to merge with Blurton was down to a question of snobbery.
For my part I have always supported the TAG’s right to fight for their school until that fight is over. I have however also encouraged the TAG to consider an alternative site should they fail in their legal battle to save the school on it’s present site.
To me it would be wrong for both communities if a merged school ended up on Blurton. Roger Ibbs has come out and expressed a desire to see the school on New Inn Lane with a road and foot bridge to make access from Blurton easy and acceptable. The TAG must pursue this plan as well as fight their legal plan. Much as been made of the New Inn Lane idea with many TAG members claiming that it is a “red herring” or un-deliverable. Well I say push Mr Ibbs and force him to either put up or shut up!
This was my intention in getting the TAG round the table with Mr Ibbs, this intention was met with suspicion and negativity and my integrity was called into question.
With my recent experience I can understand why people question the motives of the TAG, they certainly proved to me that they would use anyone or anything to get what they want.
I wonder if the city council/Roger Ibbs granted them their wish of becoming a co-operative trust school but insisted that this must include the pupils of Blurton, what the TAG reaction would be? If the Academy argument was taken from then would there then be another excuse put forward against the merger?
It is a priority for Mr Ibbs to put more “meat on the bones” regarding the New Inn Lane site. Equally it is a priority for the TAG to prove to this city that this is not a “snob” issue. Surely they need to support from across the city. If there are further delays to the BSF process they could face the wrath of parents from everywhere except Trentham!
The Sentinels article can be read by clicking HERE
Over to you………..