Tuesday, 16 February 2010


I've always thought that "to consult" meant to ask someone's opinion and then act upon it. As I said in my letter to the Yorkshire Evening Post [published 10.2.10], it's new meaning is "to tell the public, at some expense to the public, what one is about to do". Well call me old-fashioned but I think that if you have a really really bad idea, and you ask a lot of people what they think and they tell you that is a really really bad idea. Well, then I think that you should stop having ideas altogether. And, as for being paid to have bad ideas. It makes even less sense.

Over the past few years a group of people with no personal or historical loyalty to Leeds, have had some really really bad ideas, disguised them as proper educational philosophies and then foisted them on an innocent school-using public.

These are two of my favourites: 1. merging a single-sex state secular boys school [Braimwood] with a mixed church school [Agnes Stewart] on a site near neither of them, and making that school an academy, thus taking it out of council control or influence 2. consulting three schools [Farnley Park, Wortley, West Leeds] on the closure and merger of two of them, and explicitly suggesting to the third that because the new school will be too small for the merged schools, then they will collect the fall-out. Swallow Hill was always designed to be too small. What the consulters didn't expect was that a couple of hundred pupils would not meekly falls on their sword and decamp across the ringroad. So, having told Wortley what a rubbish condemned buliding they had, they then had to spend a whole load more on refurbishing it. What I mean is that we had to pay.

I think it's time that the some adults stood up to some other adults, before our children's respect for adults collapses entirely. And these adults know who they are!

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