Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NEU – which has over 450,000 members across the country – has sent a statement of support for the campaign to save the Studio School in East Cowes.
“The National Education Union understands the distress the closure of the Isle of Wight Studio School will cause for its students and their parents. No child or parent should ever face this situation.
“Responsibility lies fairly and squarely with the Government which has continued to pursue a model of education which is clearly not viable in the long term.
“This is evidenced by the fact that the Isle of Wight will be the 19th Studio School to close since this school model was first established in 2011. It is disgraceful that the sponsor, Inspire Academy Trust, has simply walked away.
“The Government’s fragmented and marketised education system is dysfunctional and children and young people are paying the price. The NEU believes the legal powers and funding must be restored to local authorities to open new schools and provide additional school places of the type and in the locations where there is genuine demand.
“This is the only way to ensure democratic accountability of education at local level.”
Lowthion: “To close it would be scandalous”
Vix Lowthion, Green Party National Education Spokesperson, adds,
“As a parent and a teacher on the Island it is obvious to me that this is a school which really gets the best out of every student, and has students who really want to give their best for the staff. The ethos is unparalleled – to close it would be scandalous.
“Our IW Council and our MP supported the measures to keep the Bay Academy open in Sandown in 2017 – they must now do the same for the community in East Cowes and at the Studio School.”
DfE deadline today
The formal ‘listening period’ ends today (Tuesday 22nd May).
All those who wish to support keeping the popular school, and a strong academic and vocational curriculum in a supportive environment on the Island, are urged to email the Department for Education at DFE.IOWSS@education.gov.uk by 5pm.
Report by Vix Lowthion. Ed