Saturday, 27 November 2010

City of Leeds School: And Now A Time for Joy and Celebration

When City of Leeds School won its fight against closure, and that’s such a little phrase to describe so much emotional turmoil and hard work, it didn’t, as it always says in the papers “jump for joy!” In fact at the time, July 2010, Acting Headteacher, Gary Lovelace, said that he was delighted, but not surprised. He said the whole process had allowed people to see what a good job the school does, with the students and with the community.” Cllr Penny Ewens, a governor at the school said it was a victory for common sense.

The community in its hundreds and thousands had come out in support of this school; the Ofsted inspection passed clinched the deal.

But last night at the Celebration Event, the school did jump for joy. It played steel pans for joy; it played guitars for joy; it danced for joy; Sanna played his trumpet for joy; it sang for joy; they had juggling; free food, a barbecue in the Unity tent [lent to us for the evening by the Hyde Park Unity team]; they let off fireworks; the samba band marched for joy; the bunting stretched for miles across the hall ceiling.

They gave speeches; they gave flowers; and in particular Gary Lovelace told a packed school hall that this Celebration Event would never need to happen again. Liz Chillington told us that this was one of only two schools in the UK to overturn the decision to close a school after the first period of statutory objections.

A recent government survey and report declared that 50% of teaching in UK schools was dull. Judging by the vast numbers of enthusiastic students who came back last night, or who braved the icy temperatures to stay at school till 9pm last night, this would not seem to be the case here! This was never a school to threaten with closure, but always one to celebrate.

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