May RB PR CYPF NEW PLANS TO WIDEN PARTICIPATION
Shared by: rockandrolldreams
15 May 2008 RB/PR/CYPF/126/08 NEW PLANS TO WIDEN PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON SCHOOLS PROPOSALS New plans are being drawn up to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to help shape the biggest ever changes to secondary school education in Oldham. Public consultation on proposals to close five secondary schools and open three new academy schools was due to begin this month and run until the end of July. However, following the election of Oldham Council’s new administration on May 1 it has been decided that the consultation process should be further strengthened to ensure that everyone who wants to contribute has the opportunity to have their say. Proposals to close Breeze Hill, Counthill, Kaskenmoor, South Chadderton and Grange Schools and replace them with three new academy schools on new sites are part of Oldham’s £230 million Building Schools for the Future plans to rebuild, replace or refurbish every secondary school in Oldham. The proposed changes are aimed at providing new, modern, schools and transforming education so every young person has the opportunity to gain modern skills and qualifications and also to improve community cohesion in Oldham. There will be three drop-in events around the Borough next week to give people the opportunity to find out more about the BSF proposals in advance of the statutory consultation beginning. These events will now be for information only and will not form part of the statutory process. Details of how all parents and carers, school staff, governors and everyone with an interest in education can take part in the statutory consultation will be published soon, but are likely to include a mixture of formal and informal events in each community affected by the proposals, as well as opportunities for people to record their views in writing and on-line. There will also be a strong emphasis on encouraging the parents of primary school pupils to take part as their children would be most affected by the changes. Oldham’s new Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Councillor Kay Knox, said: “Oldham’s young people deserve the best possible education that we can provide and we are determined to improve Oldham’s schools. The Building Schools for the Future programme is critical for the future of education provision in Oldham. It is an exciting, challenging and innovative programme which will bring many benefits for years to come. “However, the Building Schools for the Future proposals would affect every part of the Borough and every child and it is therefore essential that the final plans are the best ones possible. The election of a new administration is an appropriate time to pause for thought, take a step back and to take a fresh look at the consultation plans. These changes would affect Oldham for generations to come, so it is our duty to ensure that we consult as many people as possible so we can be confident that we reach the right decisions. The important thing is not to do this quickly, but to do it well.” Details of next week’s information events are as follows: Tuesday 20 May: to consider proposals to close South Chadderton and Kaskenmoor Schools, St Margaret’s School, Hive Street, Hollinwood, between 3pm and 7pm. Wednesday 21 May: to consider the proposal to close Grange School, Grange School, Rochdale Road, Oldham, between 3pm and 7pm. Thursday 22 May: to consider proposals to close Breeze Hill and Counthill Schools, Greenacres School, Dunkerley Street, Oldham, between 4.30pm and 7.30pm. Details of replacement consultation events will be published soon. There is more information on Oldham’s BSF proposals on the website at www.oldham.gov.uk/bsf. Ends For further information: Please contact Oldham Council’s Media & Communication Unit on 0161 770 4707/8.