Sheffield City Council are proposing that two schools in South West Sheffield merge and get a new state-of-the-art building. You might ask why someone is complaining about this? Well schools usually get new builds when they are:
n Rundown and unfit for children to be in
n Performing so badly that councils feel they need a new build to make a new start
n Increasing in size to accommodate more pupils.
None of the above is true in this case. Both schools have decent buildings, they are not increasing in size nor are they performing badly.
The first is Holt House Infant School, deemed outstanding by Ofsted, and the other is Carterknowle Juniors which produced amazing Year 6 SATS results this year.
With £51 million of cuts looming for Sheffield, local government will not be able to allow the delivery of essential services to the public, yet they are proposing to waste funds on this new build in an area where it is simply not needed. Being a City of Fairness, we have to ask whether the money can be spent elsewhere in more deserving parts of the city?
Gleadless Primary School are in desperate need of a new building but have been put on hold for the final go-ahead.
In fact, they have applied to a financial organisation to fund a new playground.
They say “not all children have the opportunity to go to parks. So the playground will offer all our children opportunities to explore and engage in different forms of learning.”
Surely providing this essential resource is the council’s responsibility.
Sheffield City Council, do you still stand by the first principle in your Sheffield Fairness Framework? “Those in greatest need should take priority.”
Coun Julie Dore, who is leader of Sheffield City Council and a Fairness Ambassador, said: “Tackling the inequalities in Sheffield to make our city fair for everyone is something I’m deeply committed to.”
Please explain to us Julie how this situation is fair.