SAVE GUARDIAN ANGELS SCHOOL
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SAVE OUR SCHOOL Guardian Angels RC Primary School, Mile End E3 4RB
Upon returning after the Easter holidays 2019 we were advised that our head of 28yrs, an amazing lady who pit her heart and soul into the school and the children resigned and we were informed that the head of St Anne’s at Whitechapel would be taking charge, whilst a new head was appointed and that our school also had a deficit budget that needed to be worked with, our Head of Governors also resigned and the head of St Anne’s governing board came with her.
Numerous teachers and teaching assistants were let go.
Classes like art and booster sessions, enrichment classes, art and after school music lessons some of which parents paid were stopped, without any prior consultation with parents as to whether we wanted to pay extra towards these bearing in mind some of the children have been taking music for several years.
We asked at several meetings was this a merge or an amalgamation/take over from st Anne’s and were assured this wasn’t the case.
Then it was decided that the year 6 teacher from St Anne’s was the best person to be the interim Head of School rather than the current Deputy Head at Guardian Angels for this current year as they needed to bring the school up and reduce this budget, our Deputy Head of many years, who may I add is an asset to the school, then became a class teacher. Although our demoted Deputy Head would have been the best choice.
We did have 3 members of staff on long term sick but they have now returned to work, I might add two were very seriously ill and still returned back to school.
We now have a teacher and teaching assistant in every year and I believe 2 floating teaching assistants
The SENCO was let go and now some of our children go to St Anne’s 3 afternoons a week for their sessions travelling by mini cab there and back with a teaching assistant to receive their hours with St Anne’s SENCO
and because of the low intake in reception year1 and reception have joint together to enable further cuts of another teacher and teaching assistant.
We now have full time staff as opposed to last year when we had several missing and had supply and agency staff hence budget deficit .
I also add that last years budget deficit is the first time we have been in such a large deficit.
It has recently come to the attention of the parents that there are intentions to close our primary school with the aim of amalgamating with St Anne's RC Primary School, Whitechapel.
That would mean Guardian Angels closing and the children going to st Anne’s in September 2020, this decision was agreed by the joint governing bodies.
Bearing in mind our governing body is being helped by St Anne’s whom I say again we’re apparently there to guide us through getting the school back on track.
Firstly, I would like to state that an extremely large percentage of the Guardian Angels parents, children grandparents, siblings, etc) are against this amalgamation
Guardian Angels school last inspection by the diocese stated we were a school of high ratio multi faith pupils with English as a second language.
For many years our previous Head had asked for a nursery class which would guarantee a large percentage of the following years intake.
We have a fairly new purpose built reception class that could accommodate this facility and classrooms/room space through the old and new building to accommodate the intake.
So to highlight we’re we are in regards to what we are currently facing, we lost our previous Headmistress at some point in April 2019. Her replacement, who is also the Headmistress of St Anne's took immediate charge and with doing so brought in her own Deputy, thus demoting the previous Deputy Head.
Due to the sudden change of administration that was being led by two women of BAME backgrounds, and I highlight this because in this day and age, it is important to celebrate the acheivements of BAME individuals, especially women, questions were rightfully asked.
We was initially advised that the school was in deficit and the new Head Mistress had been recruited in order to help the school.
Fast forward to the start of the new school year, where there are continued concerns surrounding the dismissal or resignation of our beloved Head Mistress, the demotion of our Deputy and the cut to much needed and appreciated afterschool activities not centred around sports. Now, we are receiving disturbing information regarding the potential closure of Guardian Angel and the amalgamation with St Anne's.
The current administration and Local Authority has not been honest and upfront. We believe that a hidden agenda had been set in motion starting with the removal/leaving of our Head Mistress, with the end product of bolstering the numbers at St Anne's in order to recieve greater funding. We are currently aware that there are areas of St Anne's school building which are in need of improvment which can only be approved with funding from the local authourity if the amalgamation takes place. And that the diocese has already funded an extension and revamp of st Anne’s playground. We are fully aware that on one level St Anne’s has access for wheelchair and other needs but would still need the SENCO pupils to make this work
According to sources, St Annes are extremely below their number with 6/7 classes more or less empty. I cannot verify this information in the written form however, I am sure you can and I am sure you will be able to ascertain the truth.
In the east London advertiser January 2019 issue St Anne’s is named as one of the four primary schools to loose a large amount off their budget
With the low number they currently have it would be more.
Without their own special needs and care plan-children even more.
I believe the redevelopment of the area has had a dramatic impact on pupil numbers at st Anne’s and will have in the future
You have access to the data and statistics for the borough and the Whitechapel ward to confirm this.
Where St Anne’s is situated is not a particularly nice environment for children the frivilous drug deals and usage and prostitution taking place 15-20 meters away from the main gate, and surrounding streets is also of great concern to our parents.
Guardian Angel is a one tier school. A small school with a unique selling point. Its size allows its teachers and teaching assistants to have a much more personalised approcach. This is a niche that should be celebrated, promoted and supported by Tower Hamlets and the Diocese of Westminister. Instead, this primary school with a rich and prominent role in the community that it serves is being painted as an issue due to funding. Why is that? What steps have been taken to support the school? Why are we, the parents actively chasing for information when it appears that an informal decision has already been made with no consultation with those it will have an effect on. I would like to know when a consultation took place for a decision to close the school was made? Why wasnt a consultation process made clear? Who voted to close the school?
Also taking into consideration that LB Tower Hamlets has recently posted publication named "Help Shape Our Budget" and within the publication, under the subtitle, "The Challenge", it clearly states that the borough will need to create 1600 extra school places by 2023. With this in mind, why are we talking about closing a school that has room to accommodate a nursery which is easily accessable on one level, instead of offering it the support that it needs in order to help the borough meet its targets?
Parent Steering Group
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