Once again Tory county education chief Cllr David Kirk has been forced to write a long detailed narrative on the workings (failings?) of his education department as furious parents and governors have condemned his plans to relocate Shepherd Spring juniors into the infant school. His excuses for the sudden decision to close Shepherd Spring junior school two terms early and force the children into alternative accommodation are just not good enough. The mishandling of the closure of both Shepherd Spring schools shows a department with no coherent plan and no thought for the welfare of the children attending these schools against the County’s “every child matters” policy. To add to the insult of closing the schools to meet financial targets whilst touting for a new school half a mile away we now have relocation to compensate for their total lack of planning.
His claim that the proposals are to save money merely re-enforces local opinion that his department is solely interested in asset stripping local schools to meet financial targets. Why else are they planning to build on the Shepherd Spring playing fields? Why else are they pressurising Shepherd Spring Preschool to relocate unless to sell their site for development? If he wants to save tax payers money should he be offering to open school premises so councillors can use them for free rather than pay to use the Guildhall? If he wants to convince local people he is consistent in saving their money should his department be making what could be seen as politically motivated grants to other schools?
Cllr. Kirk and his department have messed up. They and he should pay for it rather than inflicting more disruption on the children of the Shepherd Spring Schools.