Decision to launch Lyndale closure consultation to be examined

Decision to launch Lyndale closure consultation to be examined

Decision to launch Lyndale closure consultation to be examined

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

THE decision to launch a process that could end with the closure of a special needs school will be examined by a panel of councillors next week.

A document signed by councillors says the shadow of uncertainty cast over Lyndale’s future has already caused some parents to send their children elsewhere, further weakening the school's position.

Earlier this month, Wirral Council’s ruling cabinet approved a call by director of children’s services Julia Hassal to begin a 12-week consultation on closing Lyndale School, citing a drop in pupil numbers and a change in funding rules.

But opposition councillors strongly believe the Eastham school should be saved and have used a “call-in” procedure to delay the cabinet's decision.

The call-in document – signed by Lib Dem councillors Tom Harney, Phil Gilchrist and Pat Williams, and Conservative councillors Jeff Green, Ian Lewis and Cherry Povall – says cabinet was not given enough information to make such a decision.

It also states the educational needs of children have not been analysed, and that uncertainty over the school’s future has already caused some parents to send their children elsewhere.

The procedure means the plan will be examined by a cross-party scrutiny committee on February 5, before being sent back to cabinet.

A resolution to make changes to the school’s top-up payments for students with high needs has also been called in, with opposition councillors claiming it will inevitably result in Lyndale’s closure.

Eastham councillor Tom Harney - who is also chairman of governors at Lyndale - told the Globe: “We are delighted to give the parents and the rest of the school community the opportunity to present the case for Lyndale School to continue.

“So far the discussion has been about money and buildings. We want to focus on the needs of children and their families.

“This is the chance to ensure the council works with parents to secure the future education and welfare of their children.”

Council leader Cllr Phil Davies expressed surprise that opposition members had called-in the decision, saying he hoped it was not simply to score political points.

He said: “All the cabinet gave authority to the officers to do was to go out to consultation with a range of options.

“So it is surprising to me that the opposition would be against consulting parents and stakeholders associated with the school on what their views are for the best future for Lyndale.

“This is exactly the course of action we have had to take with other schools where there has been falling rolls."

He added: “No decision has been made yet about the future of Lyndale, and none will be made until the 12-week consultation period is over.

“I said at the cabinet meeting we have an open mind about the future of Lyndale and we are not doing this because of any issues with the quality of education.

“Given we have not made any decision yet, it is really difficult to understand why the opposition would do this.

“I hope they’re not just doing this for political reasons to try and score some political points - because I think the issues with Lyndale are far more important than politics.”

  • Wirral South MP Alison McGovern is to chair a meeting on the future of Lyndale next month.
    The MP said the meeting - which takes place in South Wirral High School's drama studio from 6pm on Febraury 13 - will give people the chance to have their say on the proposals to close the school.
  • Find out more about the meeting here.

Comments (11)

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1:44pm Wed 29 Jan 14

WirralAl says...

These are rich words coming from a person who's spends all his days attempting to score political points and bumbles through running a council in such a way!


“I hope they’re not just doing this for political reasons to try and score some political points - because I think the issues with Lyndale are far more important than politics.”
These are rich words coming from a person who's spends all his days attempting to score political points and bumbles through running a council in such a way! “I hope they’re not just doing this for political reasons to try and score some political points - because I think the issues with Lyndale are far more important than politics.” WirralAl
  • Score: 4

1:51pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Llamedos 1 says...

"A document signed by councillors says the shadow of uncertainty cast over Lyndale’s future has already caused some parents to send their children elsewhere, further weakening the schools's position."

Is this typical council "spin" to attempt to weaken the school and parents position. Has anyone got the information as to how many parents have withdrawn their children. If it could be proved that this statement is untrue then it would weaken the clowncils closure proposal.
"A document signed by councillors says the shadow of uncertainty cast over Lyndale’s future has already caused some parents to send their children elsewhere, further weakening the schools's position." Is this typical council "spin" to attempt to weaken the school and parents position. Has anyone got the information as to how many parents have withdrawn their children. If it could be proved that this statement is untrue then it would weaken the clowncils closure proposal. Llamedos 1
  • Score: 6

2:14pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Thepleb says...

Cllr Davies says the consultation is to find out what the views of the parents and opposition Cllrs is for the best way forward.There is only going to be one outcome from this consultation and that is the parents and staff want it to be kept open and the children not to be moved as proved in the 6,000 petition and disgustingly short allowed speech by a spokesperson in the council chambers a few weeks ago.Cllr Davies and his cabinet members voted against car parking charges and the lack of maintenance to parks and open spaces after the what really matters farce because of public feeling let's see if they listen again.
Cllr Davies says the consultation is to find out what the views of the parents and opposition Cllrs is for the best way forward.There is only going to be one outcome from this consultation and that is the parents and staff want it to be kept open and the children not to be moved as proved in the 6,000 petition and disgustingly short allowed speech by a spokesperson in the council chambers a few weeks ago.Cllr Davies and his cabinet members voted against car parking charges and the lack of maintenance to parks and open spaces after the what really matters farce because of public feeling let's see if they listen again. Thepleb
  • Score: 4

2:17pm Wed 29 Jan 14

bigfoot says...

Despite what the general populous say the Council will have their way, Which begs the question "are public ballots a true representation of the electorate's wishes"?
Despite what the general populous say the Council will have their way, Which begs the question "are public ballots a true representation of the electorate's wishes"? bigfoot
  • Score: 1

2:27pm Wed 29 Jan 14

artemis81 says...

Llamedos 1 wrote:
"A document signed by councillors says the shadow of uncertainty cast over Lyndale’s future has already caused some parents to send their children elsewhere, further weakening the schools's position."

Is this typical council "spin" to attempt to weaken the school and parents position. Has anyone got the information as to how many parents have withdrawn their children. If it could be proved that this statement is untrue then it would weaken the clowncils closure proposal.
It is not likely to be Council 'spin' is it, considering the document referred to is the call-in one by opposition councillors?
[quote][p][bold]Llamedos 1[/bold] wrote: "A document signed by councillors says the shadow of uncertainty cast over Lyndale’s future has already caused some parents to send their children elsewhere, further weakening the schools's position." Is this typical council "spin" to attempt to weaken the school and parents position. Has anyone got the information as to how many parents have withdrawn their children. If it could be proved that this statement is untrue then it would weaken the clowncils closure proposal.[/p][/quote]It is not likely to be Council 'spin' is it, considering the document referred to is the call-in one by opposition councillors? artemis81
  • Score: 1

2:42pm Wed 29 Jan 14

WirralAl says...

bigfoot wrote:
Despite what the general populous say the Council will have their way, Which begs the question "are public ballots a true representation of the electorate's wishes"?
No. The Councillors do what they want to do and public ballots are just a smokescreen!
[quote][p][bold]bigfoot[/bold] wrote: Despite what the general populous say the Council will have their way, Which begs the question "are public ballots a true representation of the electorate's wishes"?[/p][/quote]No. The Councillors do what they want to do and public ballots are just a smokescreen! WirralAl
  • Score: 2

2:51pm Wed 29 Jan 14

JohnON says...

Birkenhead seems to be getting all the TLC at the moment.


There must be an election looming.
Birkenhead seems to be getting all the TLC at the moment. There must be an election looming. JohnON
  • Score: 2

7:59pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Joeblogg85 says...

I fully support the parents regarding this matter but isn't the fact that Tom Harney is involved a conflict of interest?

As said earlier, why do we need this as 5000+ people already support it being kept open. That's as many as the last nonsense of a consultation.
I fully support the parents regarding this matter but isn't the fact that Tom Harney is involved a conflict of interest? As said earlier, why do we need this as 5000+ people already support it being kept open. That's as many as the last nonsense of a consultation. Joeblogg85
  • Score: 1

9:05pm Wed 29 Jan 14

Mojo68 says...

The parents will continue to fight the closure until the very end, however, it's becoming increasingly difficult to stay optimistic as more facts come to light. One of these facts concerns the newly built Stanley School. This is a school that does not have children in wheelchairs and I know of a family that had a child with poor mobility and had to fight for Stanley to accept her, so why does every classroom have an H frame fitted, this is a framework attached to the ceiling that helps to move people who can't walk and need to be hoisted? Why did they need to build a new school I asked and was informed it was because the old Stanley school wasn't wheelchair accessible but why does it need to be when they don't accept children in wheelchairs?? Personally, I don't care if the councillors supporting us are only doing it to score points, we just want as many people on our side helping us fight for the rights of our children and without these councillors we wouldn't have known about this "call in" procedure.
One of our parent governors, with Julia Hassall, visited both schools to assess them for their suitability (Stanley & Elleray) and a few "issues" have come to light. One of these being that at present the newly built Stanley school, which Julia, im led to believe, has confirmed will not be extended, has only 1 unused classroom. The headmaster stated that to be able to accommodate our children in 2015, if Lyndale were to close, he would have to stop any further intake until that time. We have been told that funding has been changed and instead of being paid per place that the schools has, it will be funded on per pupil attending. Surely then this would impact on the funding for Stanley School if they have children leaving for secondary education and not being able to fill those spaces!!
The parents will continue to fight the closure until the very end, however, it's becoming increasingly difficult to stay optimistic as more facts come to light. One of these facts concerns the newly built Stanley School. This is a school that does not have children in wheelchairs and I know of a family that had a child with poor mobility and had to fight for Stanley to accept her, so why does every classroom have an H frame fitted, this is a framework attached to the ceiling that helps to move people who can't walk and need to be hoisted? Why did they need to build a new school I asked and was informed it was because the old Stanley school wasn't wheelchair accessible but why does it need to be when they don't accept children in wheelchairs?? Personally, I don't care if the councillors supporting us are only doing it to score points, we just want as many people on our side helping us fight for the rights of our children and without these councillors we wouldn't have known about this "call in" procedure. One of our parent governors, with Julia Hassall, visited both schools to assess them for their suitability (Stanley & Elleray) and a few "issues" have come to light. One of these being that at present the newly built Stanley school, which Julia, im led to believe, has confirmed will not be extended, has only 1 unused classroom. The headmaster stated that to be able to accommodate our children in 2015, if Lyndale were to close, he would have to stop any further intake until that time. We have been told that funding has been changed and instead of being paid per place that the schools has, it will be funded on per pupil attending. Surely then this would impact on the funding for Stanley School if they have children leaving for secondary education and not being able to fill those spaces!! Mojo68
  • Score: 4

12:10pm Thu 30 Jan 14

RL 1952 says...

Cllr Davies dares again to "smokescreen" his inability to deal professionally with these matters by saying his opponents are trying to score political points - isn't that precisely what A. McGovern - labour MP is doing by chairing a public meeting - isn't it after all the ruling labour group who are pushing this decision through - is this not hypocritical dual standards by a party that really have shown themselves to be wholly inadequate in everything they involve themselves in, locally and nationally?
What really matters here are the children who will be affected lets not lose sight of this fact - the politicians DO NOT MATTER - THE CHILDREN DO
Cllr Davies dares again to "smokescreen" his inability to deal professionally with these matters by saying his opponents are trying to score political points - isn't that precisely what A. McGovern - labour MP is doing by chairing a public meeting - isn't it after all the ruling labour group who are pushing this decision through - is this not hypocritical dual standards by a party that really have shown themselves to be wholly inadequate in everything they involve themselves in, locally and nationally? What really matters here are the children who will be affected lets not lose sight of this fact - the politicians DO NOT MATTER - THE CHILDREN DO RL 1952
  • Score: 4

7:42pm Mon 3 Feb 14

spamfiend says...

"Wirral South MP Alison McGovern is to chair a meeting on the future of Lyndale next month.
The MP said the meeting - which takes place in South Wirral High School's drama studio from 6pm on Febraury 13 - will give people the chance to have their say on the proposals to close the school."

Frank Fields did the same thing to us when they did the dirty on Vyner. Had his little soiree then they shut the school anyway regardless of any arguments or possible solutions where offered.

As WirralAl says, smokescreen!
"Wirral South MP Alison McGovern is to chair a meeting on the future of Lyndale next month. The MP said the meeting - which takes place in South Wirral High School's drama studio from 6pm on Febraury 13 - will give people the chance to have their say on the proposals to close the school." Frank Fields did the same thing to us when they did the dirty on Vyner. Had his little soiree then they shut the school anyway regardless of any arguments or possible solutions where offered. As WirralAl says, smokescreen! spamfiend
  • Score: 1

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