Closing Lyndale School would be an 'act of educational vandalism'

Wirral Globe: Lyndale parents believe the school should be saved. Lyndale parents believe the school should be saved.

PLANS to close a special needs school in Wirral have been dubbed an act of “educational vandalism” by senior councillors, who feel town hall chiefs should think again.

Wirral Council’s ruling cabinet approved plans to begin a 12-week consultation on the closure of The Lyndale School on Thursday, citing a drop in pupil numbers and a change in funding as the reason.

But opposition councillors believe the Eastham school should be saved, opting to use their “call-in” procedures to delay the cabinet decision and force further debate on the issue.

Councillor Jeff Green, leader of the Conservative Group, told the Globe he and other councillors plan to call in the decision once the minutes of the cabinet meeting are published, forcing the decision to be discussed by a scrutiny committee before being sent back to cabinet.

Describing Lyndale as a “unique resource”, Cllr Green said he would be supporting fellow councillors, including Liberal Democrat councillor Tom Harney – who is also the chair of governors at Lyndale – in their fight to keep the school open.

He said: “I think the cabinet made a mistake.

“Lyndale is a very unique place in terms of the education offered – it is highly-rated by Ofsted, highly-valued by parents and it is loved by the children.

“It would be an act of educational vandalism to close the school.

“We think the school is a unique resource for some of the most special children in Wirral.

“The reason given about moving to a per capita funding is flawed as we believe that if we were to look at the funding properly and base it around the needs of the children and then apply the individual funding formula for the school appropriately, the school is sustainable and the very special education that is offered by Lyndale could be saved.”

Council leader Phil Davies said he felt 12 weeks was a suitable length of time to consult on the future of Lyndale and said it was important to “keep an open mind”, as well as ensuring the consultation is both open and transparent.

Comments (15)

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1:16pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Llamedos 1 says...

At last people power has some influence on some of the councillors in the Clown Hall.....thanks to all the thousands of people who signed the petition, parents, staff and children. A long way to go yet but there is hope on the horizon......keep up the pressure and perhaps morality and conscience might prevail over money for once.
At last people power has some influence on some of the councillors in the Clown Hall.....thanks to all the thousands of people who signed the petition, parents, staff and children. A long way to go yet but there is hope on the horizon......keep up the pressure and perhaps morality and conscience might prevail over money for once. Llamedos 1

1:40pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Thepleb says...

Llamedos 1 wrote:
At last people power has some influence on some of the councillors in the Clown Hall.....thanks to all the thousands of people who signed the petition, parents, staff and children. A long way to go yet but there is hope on the horizon......keep up the pressure and perhaps morality and conscience might prevail over money for once.
I hope your right but unfortunately morality and concience is something that is extremely lacking in this council
[quote][p][bold]Llamedos 1[/bold] wrote: At last people power has some influence on some of the councillors in the Clown Hall.....thanks to all the thousands of people who signed the petition, parents, staff and children. A long way to go yet but there is hope on the horizon......keep up the pressure and perhaps morality and conscience might prevail over money for once.[/p][/quote]I hope your right but unfortunately morality and concience is something that is extremely lacking in this council Thepleb

4:15pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Llamedos 1 says...

Yes, ThePleb, that comment was made more in hope than expectation, I could not agree with you more.
Yes, ThePleb, that comment was made more in hope than expectation, I could not agree with you more. Llamedos 1

4:15pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Llamedos 1 says...

Yes, ThePleb, that comment was made more in hope than expectation, I could not agree with you more.
Yes, ThePleb, that comment was made more in hope than expectation, I could not agree with you more. Llamedos 1

5:17pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

I today spoke to one of my local councillors (labour I might add), of course his view was that consultation still takes place and we explore all other possibilities and that Lyndale was only being considered for closure in the interests of the children only and I quote "Nothing to do with finances". I then informed this councillor that at the meeting with Julia Hassall before Christmas at Lyndale she made it quite clear that the ONLY reason it was being considered for closure WAS because of finances. He was totally unaware of the impending "call in" and not surprisingly called it premature. He then went on to give me a glowing report on the new Stanley School saying how wonderful the new building was, when will these people realise that, for our children, their safety and wellbeing comes first and foremost to bricks and mortar!!
I today spoke to one of my local councillors (labour I might add), of course his view was that consultation still takes place and we explore all other possibilities and that Lyndale was only being considered for closure in the interests of the children only and I quote "Nothing to do with finances". I then informed this councillor that at the meeting with Julia Hassall before Christmas at Lyndale she made it quite clear that the ONLY reason it was being considered for closure WAS because of finances. He was totally unaware of the impending "call in" and not surprisingly called it premature. He then went on to give me a glowing report on the new Stanley School saying how wonderful the new building was, when will these people realise that, for our children, their safety and wellbeing comes first and foremost to bricks and mortar!! Mojo68

5:32pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Joeblogg85 says...

What did the Klonowski report say again? Something about the abnormal being normal!
What did the Klonowski report say again? Something about the abnormal being normal! Joeblogg85

2:28am Wed 22 Jan 14

Llamedos 1 says...

Mojo, that is absolutely incredible that a local councillor was totally unaware that after all the publicity and a petition signed by over 5000 Wirral residents that the proposed Lyndale closure was due to MONEY. These idiots are supposed to be representing us and for them to not know the facts especially with a high profile story is an utter disgrace. I think you should name him so that the poor people who voted for him last time can kick him into touch, he is obviously neither use nor orniment
Mojo, that is absolutely incredible that a local councillor was totally unaware that after all the publicity and a petition signed by over 5000 Wirral residents that the proposed Lyndale closure was due to MONEY. These idiots are supposed to be representing us and for them to not know the facts especially with a high profile story is an utter disgrace. I think you should name him so that the poor people who voted for him last time can kick him into touch, he is obviously neither use nor orniment Llamedos 1

8:04pm Wed 22 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

Llamedos, the councillor I spoke to was George Davies, in all fairness to him we did have a fairly lengthy conversation where I tried to put our case across to him. I was very surprised when he made the comment about it not being due to finances and I also asked him if he had heard Julia Hassall's interview the week before last on Radio Merseyside, he hadn't. My point in asking him that was because he kept saying to me that the interests and safety of our children is paramount and a report will be done to ensure that the alternative provision for our children will be equal to or better than what they currently receive at Lyndale and Julia Hassall herself told us parents the very same thing at our meeting in December, yet when she was asked by the reporter "If the report states that the best place for the children is Lyndale, will u keep the school open?" there was a long pause before she answered that the school still had to be financially viable. I also asked who was actually going to be compiling this report as the parents feel there could very well be a danger of this report being biased. We feel that any report should be carried out, not only by an organisation like Ofsted but also someone or team of people with an extremely high level of medical knowledge as our children have very individual and complex medical conditions.
Llamedos, the councillor I spoke to was George Davies, in all fairness to him we did have a fairly lengthy conversation where I tried to put our case across to him. I was very surprised when he made the comment about it not being due to finances and I also asked him if he had heard Julia Hassall's interview the week before last on Radio Merseyside, he hadn't. My point in asking him that was because he kept saying to me that the interests and safety of our children is paramount and a report will be done to ensure that the alternative provision for our children will be equal to or better than what they currently receive at Lyndale and Julia Hassall herself told us parents the very same thing at our meeting in December, yet when she was asked by the reporter "If the report states that the best place for the children is Lyndale, will u keep the school open?" there was a long pause before she answered that the school still had to be financially viable. I also asked who was actually going to be compiling this report as the parents feel there could very well be a danger of this report being biased. We feel that any report should be carried out, not only by an organisation like Ofsted but also someone or team of people with an extremely high level of medical knowledge as our children have very individual and complex medical conditions. Mojo68

7:16pm Thu 23 Jan 14

OliverJones21 says...

Mojo68 George Davis is not only Joint Deputy Leader of the Labour Group but a Caninet member responsible for agreeing to the consultation on 16 th Jan but appears to know absolutely nothing about the issue !!!! Was he listening ?
Mojo68 George Davis is not only Joint Deputy Leader of the Labour Group but a Caninet member responsible for agreeing to the consultation on 16 th Jan but appears to know absolutely nothing about the issue !!!! Was he listening ? OliverJones21

11:45am Fri 24 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

Unfortunately OliverJ, when this went before Cabinet, only 1 person was allowed to address then on our behalf and we were given just 5 minutes to try and put our case forward which obviously is quite ridiculous. It is becoming quite clear on a daily basis through further meetings, which I can't go into just yet, that neither Stanley or Elleray Park would be able to accommodate our children and ensure their safety at all times. Julia Hassall assured us that the new provision would have to be to the same standard that they currently receive or exceed it and quite frankly it's becoming apparent to everybody concerned (excluding the labour council) that this can not be achieved at either of those schools.
Unfortunately OliverJ, when this went before Cabinet, only 1 person was allowed to address then on our behalf and we were given just 5 minutes to try and put our case forward which obviously is quite ridiculous. It is becoming quite clear on a daily basis through further meetings, which I can't go into just yet, that neither Stanley or Elleray Park would be able to accommodate our children and ensure their safety at all times. Julia Hassall assured us that the new provision would have to be to the same standard that they currently receive or exceed it and quite frankly it's becoming apparent to everybody concerned (excluding the labour council) that this can not be achieved at either of those schools. Mojo68

8:12pm Fri 24 Jan 14

Heycock says...

I have personal knowledge of the situation at Elleray and the same concerns about well being are being expressed amongst parents THERE. And at Stanley no doubt. The fact is that the children who go to each of the schools have particular needs that can only be met at the appropriate school .....the schools have their own specialisations. Moving the children from Lyndale will not only adversely impact on THEIR education and wellbeing but also that of the children in Stanley and Elleray. Neither school could cope from the point of view of building provision, specialist facilities, teaching or other staff. To adequately provide for the children from Lyndale would mean taking provision and facilities from children at Stanley and Elleray.
Closing Lyndale and trying to make them fit into other special schools will only produce losers all round.
I have personal knowledge of the situation at Elleray and the same concerns about well being are being expressed amongst parents THERE. And at Stanley no doubt. The fact is that the children who go to each of the schools have particular needs that can only be met at the appropriate school .....the schools have their own specialisations. Moving the children from Lyndale will not only adversely impact on THEIR education and wellbeing but also that of the children in Stanley and Elleray. Neither school could cope from the point of view of building provision, specialist facilities, teaching or other staff. To adequately provide for the children from Lyndale would mean taking provision and facilities from children at Stanley and Elleray. Closing Lyndale and trying to make them fit into other special schools will only produce losers all round. Heycock

10:43am Sat 25 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

Heycock, this situation is a disaster waiting to happen. I totally agree that placing our children together would be detrimental all round. Apparently the decision to close would be this December at the earliest which would give them 7 months to extend the building and purchase all the equipment that our children require, hire staff and train them to be able to cope with our children's specific and individual needs, go through care plans for each child and then integrate our children, that just isn't possible in that timescale. The building alone is only suitable for the children at Elleray, our children require lots of visual stimulation, lots of colours, shapes and textures etc. I really hope that all the parents, grandparents etc of children at Elleray and Stanley do their part in fighting this by signing the petition and also voicing your concerns. We really cannot allow this to happen!
Heycock, this situation is a disaster waiting to happen. I totally agree that placing our children together would be detrimental all round. Apparently the decision to close would be this December at the earliest which would give them 7 months to extend the building and purchase all the equipment that our children require, hire staff and train them to be able to cope with our children's specific and individual needs, go through care plans for each child and then integrate our children, that just isn't possible in that timescale. The building alone is only suitable for the children at Elleray, our children require lots of visual stimulation, lots of colours, shapes and textures etc. I really hope that all the parents, grandparents etc of children at Elleray and Stanley do their part in fighting this by signing the petition and also voicing your concerns. We really cannot allow this to happen! Mojo68

4:52pm Sat 25 Jan 14

OliverJones21 says...

Additionally how deficient of the council that rather than keeping the children with the Lyndale staff, who adore them and know them inside out , they are planning to make the staff redundant . Even if some of the staff were able to find work in the proposed schools many won't . I know , like Heycock , from personal knowledge that they are heartbroken that they may no longer be able to do the job they love with children they understand and cherish.
Additionally how deficient of the council that rather than keeping the children with the Lyndale staff, who adore them and know them inside out , they are planning to make the staff redundant . Even if some of the staff were able to find work in the proposed schools many won't . I know , like Heycock , from personal knowledge that they are heartbroken that they may no longer be able to do the job they love with children they understand and cherish. OliverJones21

7:35pm Sat 25 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

You're absolutely right Oliver, my son has been with the same teacher now for 4 years, she knows him inside and out (and all the TA's do too). My son suffers with seizures that manifest themselves in varying ways, some are very apparent while others can be very hard to spot (unless you know him) yet any seizure that carries on for any length of time could seriously harm my son. In fact if my son has a seizure for over 3 minutes he is to have rescue medication and after 5 minutes if the seizure hasn't stopped then a 999 call for an ambulance is required. How can any of those steps be taken if they don't know he's fitting? On another note the staff of Lyndale have not only been there for the children but also for us parents. They have been there for me above and beyond the call of duty as I have been through some very difficult times over the last few years. They also have an 'open school' policy so I know if I want to call in and see Robinson or any of the staff then I am free to do so. I don't think that either of the other schools have that same policy.
You're absolutely right Oliver, my son has been with the same teacher now for 4 years, she knows him inside and out (and all the TA's do too). My son suffers with seizures that manifest themselves in varying ways, some are very apparent while others can be very hard to spot (unless you know him) yet any seizure that carries on for any length of time could seriously harm my son. In fact if my son has a seizure for over 3 minutes he is to have rescue medication and after 5 minutes if the seizure hasn't stopped then a 999 call for an ambulance is required. How can any of those steps be taken if they don't know he's fitting? On another note the staff of Lyndale have not only been there for the children but also for us parents. They have been there for me above and beyond the call of duty as I have been through some very difficult times over the last few years. They also have an 'open school' policy so I know if I want to call in and see Robinson or any of the staff then I am free to do so. I don't think that either of the other schools have that same policy. Mojo68

7:04pm Tue 4 Feb 14

OliverJones21 says...

Mojo68 George Davis is not only Joint Deputy Leader of the Labour Group but a Cabinet member responsible for agreeing to the consultation on 16 th Jan but appears to know absolutely nothing about the issue !!!! Was he listening ?
Mojo68 George Davis is not only Joint Deputy Leader of the Labour Group but a Cabinet member responsible for agreeing to the consultation on 16 th Jan but appears to know absolutely nothing about the issue !!!! Was he listening ? OliverJones21

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