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To Intervene in the Decision to Close Kajans Studio College, Birmingham

This petition had 394 supporters

Students, parents, staff, governors and the community are shocked at the Government's sudden decision to close Kajans Hospitality & Catering Studio College in Birmingham.  

Kajans is a pioneering "free school" which opened in September 2013. It is located in an inner city area of Birmingham and is a vital resource for Black & Minority Ethnic students.  It offers the statutory GCSE syllabus for 14 to 16 year olds.  It provides vocational training in Catering, Hospitality, Health & Social Care - subjects which have a particular high uptake among BME students.  It has the support of blue chip companies such as Marks & Spencer and Aston Villa Football Club & students aged 16 - 19 yrs are already enjoying work experience at these organisations. 

The decision to close Kajans is allegedly based on low student intake. However, this has been due to teething difficulties which are now being addressed. The college will partner with a local "Outstanding school", an acting head has been appointed and college leaders are clear that with more time and a clear action plan the college can breakthrough into success.  

We have started this campaign to save Kajans Studio College because:

1. Birmingham has one of the highest NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) figures in the UK and such a college is instrumental in helping to lower these figures.  If the college is closed, up to 300 young people could be denied work opportunities with award winning employers like Aston Villa, Island Delight Patties and Marks & Spencer.

2. Kajans is a Black - led college and it is felt that this has had an influence on the draconian decision that has been taken.  It is felt a college led by another group would be treated differently.

3. An investment of £2.5 million has already been committed and to close the provisions early without the opportunity to make a success of the investment would be counter-intuitive. The first renovation stage, of the building which has been derelict for years, has been completed well within budget.  The college has a 125 yr lease from Birmingham City Council. It would be unduly harsh to cause the facility to close at this early stage.

3. Birmingham is a city with a growing immigrant community which will lead to a need for more student places.  Closing Kajans Studio College now is premature in light of the city's growing population.

4.Black children are more likely to be excluded from school than any other group, a facility that is designed with the needs of black students in mind is of vital importance.  



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