Wider Picture

Oxford City – plans are afoot to reorganise the city’s schools to a two tier system here. They are being opposed by local parents. The Oxford City situation is fairly complex, involving denominational schools and a single sex school which members of the local Muslim community use for their daughters’ education.Despite the difference in our situation in Whitley Bay/Monkseaton and in Oxford City, the two areas have been given remarkably similar arguments for the closure of middle schools and the change to a two tier system.

The future of the schools in Oxford City is still uncertain, but local parents are determined to take the council to court if they have to.

Bradford – HUGE reorganisation taking place here with some 80 middle schools closing.The Bradford parents did oppose the changes some time back, but were not listened to. Many teachers are out of work; some have effectively had careers destroyed.

Bradford LEA ran into problems and now has a team of private consultants helping to run it. Our own Les Walton (formerly Chief Education Officer in North Tyneside) was apparently “head hunted” by Bradford and is now a consultant there.

Bradford has had a lot of problems with finance which have not yet ended apparently.

In the TES (see links) of 5th Jan 2001, it was reported that the £20 million the council expected to get from sale of land after schools were closed will not all be forthcoming. At least half is subject to legislation which states the money from the sale of the land should go to the descendants of the original owners.