The Raine’s Foundation school closure controversy continues with Cllr. Rabina Khan (Liberal Democrat, Shadwell) proposing a motion to council which complements the 30 questions that Cllr. Andrew Wood (Conservative, Canary Wharf) submitted the other day. You can read a draft of Cllr. Khan’s motion below (note: precise wording may change).
LW must apologise for only highlighting the work that Cllr. Khan and Cllr. Wood are doing to keep Raine’s Foundation school open – needless to say the local councillors in the area will also be fighting for the interests of the school, pupils and parents too!
Local councillors for Raine’s Foundation school
So if you have any questions about Raine’s Foundation school you should contact:
- Cllr. Kevin Brady (Labour, St Peter’s) email: Kevin.Brady@towerhamlets.gov.uk, mobile: 07943 159386, twitter : @Kevin_J_Brady or his colleague
- Cllr. John Pierce (Labour, Weavers) email: Cllr.firstname.lastname@example.org , mobile: 07772 710 080, Facebook : www.facebook.com/cllrjohnpierce
Apparently Raine’s Foundation school is located virtually on the boundary between their two wards. Cllr’s Brady and Pierce belong to the party trying to close Raine’s Foundation school so no doubt they will have access to all the information you need.
Motion Regarding Raine’s Foundation School Closure
Proposer: Councillor Rabina Khan
Tower Hamlets Council notes:
- There has been outrage and distress about plans to close Raine’s Foundations School, the East End’s oldest school and one of only two Church of England secondary schools in Tower Hamlets
- The Council and London Diocesan claim that there aren’t enough applicants
- The announcement was made a week before the start of GCSE exams, which has caused upset and disruption to the pupils
- At the parents’ meeting on 7 May 2019, parents were not given the opportunity to ask questions about the closure, the microphone did not work and many parents could not hear what was being said. In addition, the meeting was held at 4pm when many parents were still at work and unable to attend
- Despite requests for the issue to be raised at the Full Cabinet meeting, the Council decided that it did not need to be a Cabinet decision, despite previous nursery school closure discussions where there were less than 100 pupils affected, as opposed to 381 pupils at Raine’s
- The Head, Paul Woods, wrote to all parents in January 2019 informing them that Ofsted reported that improvements had been made.
- There are a number of online petitions circulating about Raine’s Foundation school, including one on Change.Org, which has 2,720 signatures as of 05 June 2019 and another that was set up by students
- A meeting was organised for Wednesday 29 May 2019 at midday in the pub opposite Raine’s School
- A public consultation is due to take place in June 2019 and in September 2019 the Cabinet will consider the report from the consultation
- Students that had accepted a place in year 7 for September 2019 now have to find a new school or join Oaklands Secondary School
- Allegedly, pupils are already being interviewed with a view to joining Oaklands School, implying that Oaklands is cherry-picking students and excluding others
- According to a barrister/solicitor, Tower Hamlets Council has not followed correct procedure as it appears they they are predetermining the decision to close Raines Foundation Secondary School before any proper Public Consultation has taken place with the relevant parents, local community, organisations/campaigners
- The Diocese had agreed to a public consultation with Tower Hamlets Council and not the immediate closure of Raine’s by 2020. They are disgusted by the way the parents and children have been treated
Tower Hamlets Council believes:
- It is crucial that parents of pupils currently attending Raine’s are fully involved and are given the opportunity to ask questions
- That the presentation shown at the parents’ meeting should be distributed to the absent parents, if this has not already been done
- Alternatives to closure need to be explored
- The school is part of the East End’s cultural history, so to close it would be a tragedy
- That all parents should be encouraged to contact Ofsted immediately (email@example.com) to lodge a complaint, marking their emails/letters for the attention of Ofsted HM Inspector, Daniel Burton, who visited the school in December 2018 and subsequently wrote a favourable report to the Head, Paul Woods
- That parents should also be encouraged to write to Damien Hinds, Secretary of State for Education: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Raine’s is a thriving multi-cultural school, which adheres to traditional values and has made significant improvements since last September when Mr Woods became the first executive headmaster
- That Mr Woods was pushed first, rather than just walked away as the Council suggests
- The Council had the impending closure in mind for a while, since money was awarded to Oaklands and the school’s expansion is already underway