Lewisham Parents Fight Budget Cuts

I’ve just returned from the second meeting of the Forest Hill Parents’ Action Group. Again, a packed meeting: there were more parents than chairs and several had to be imported for the session. It turns out that the “Reorganisation of the school administration and non classroom support staff” that parents have been told about though a letter from the head teacher, and of which they have been further informed, “our extensive and meticulous planning has focused on minimising any redundancies” has resulted in 22 members of support staff being made redundant since the beginning of the academic year.

The plans for the school are to implement “A refreshed leadership structure throughout the school” and that this will “ensure that we can plan a bright future for our students”. There are suspicions from parents that this ‘refreshed’ leadership structure will not affect leadership of the senior variety, but might involve a complete decimation of heads of departments. I have seen this done before, and the result is that subject departments are left rudderless as the senior manager in charge of the ship is too busy with important whole school issues to attend to more local, subject specific matters, and it tends to result in a mild destruction of the pedagogic identity of a department that affects the kids’ learning.

Parents have been told that the school intends to “continue to strive for better outcomes for its students” and no parent doubts the sincerity of this, but how we are to take seriously the claim that “a reconfigured curriculum will help us achieve this goal” God only knows.

Forest Hill NUT members will be striking on 21st March. They will be accompanied by parents, current and former students and hopefully members of the press. What all parties concerned agree with is that the education of the boys at Forest Hill is paramount, and Forest Hill parents call on the leadership team to with us in fighting these draconian cuts which can only have a profoundly negative impact on the educational outcomes of the boys and on the lives of profoundly valued members of the community: our children’s loved and respected teachers.

Added Tue, 7 Mar 2017 23:00

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