Birkenshaw parents slam schools plan

Issue 482

KIRKLEES Council’s leader has mounted a “sustained attack” on children in Birkenshaw, a schools campaigner said on Tuesday.
Sharon Light, wife of Tory group leader Coun Robert Light, slammed Labour’s Mehboob Khan over the alleged blocking of a new secondary.
She and other members of the trust set up operate the school were at Dewsbury Town Hall  complaining from the public seats about a decision to move Birkenshaw First and Nursery to the site of Birkenshaw Middle.
The BBG Academy Trust want the middle school site. Mrs Light accused Labour of deliberately trying to scupper their plans.
She said to Coun Khan: “Since your leadership began you have subjected the children of East Bierley and Birkenshaw to a sustained attack.
“My daughter Rebecca and all her education and life chances have been seriously jeopardised. She needs a council leader who will listen to her community.”
The decision to move Birkenshaw First and Nursery was taken after Kirklees lost a £200m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project. It was to be turned into an allthrough primary at a cost of between £7m and £12m to allow Birkenshaw Middle to be scrapped in 2013.
Kirklees still intents to axe Birkenshaw Middle. But they now want to use the buildings for the allthrough primary at a cost of up to £2m. Staff, parents and governors at the Birkenshaw First and Nursery met at the school last Friday to discuss the proposal.
Chair of governors Neil Auty said before Tuesday’s cabinet session: “We are incensed. They have not consulted with us.”
The council’s education boss, children’s services director Alison O’Sullivan, defended the move following the end of the BSF scheme.
She said at Tuesday’s meeting: “We don’t have much money. This is a better and cheaper way to change over to a primary school system.”

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