West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has expressed her anger over Lancashire County Council’s decision to close Glenburn Sports College.
MP Rosie has stood alongside teachers, parents, pupils and residents of Skelmersdale in fighting Lancashire County Council’s proposed closure for many months, but it appears the concerns have been ignored by the Schools Cabinet Member Cllr Matthew Tomlinson.
Rosie Cooper MP said:
“It is really disappointing that Lancashire County Council have decided to continue with their plans to close Glenburn Sports College. Even more concerning is the lack of clarity and commitment and support for existing pupils, especially those taking their GCSEs.
“The absence of a longer-term strategic plan for investing in secondary education provision is appalling. The children of Skelmersdale have been let down over many years by successive authorities whose inaction has meant parents choosing to send their children (nearly 700 pupils) outside the town to be educated.
“I still believe this closure is the cheap and easy option. It is not the right option though for Glenburn’s pupils or schoolchildren in Skelmersdale.
“This entire process from start to finish has been a huge mess. It has been flawed and I fear the impact this will have on pupils and their families.
“Clearly the Cabinet Member for Schools has disregarded all of our concerns over the closure of this town centre school. Despite 95% being opposed to the closure they are still pushing ahead with it.
“This decision highlights the need for a wholesale review of education provision in Skelmersdale to strengthen schools and to show the children of the town that their ambitions and aspirations matter and can be provided locally.
“Glenburn pupils have been abjectly failed by the people supposed to oversee their education in the school governing body and the local education authority. We must now consider whether we wish to appeal to the schools adjudicator.”
“I will be holding Lancashire County Council to their word in supporting parents and pupils through transport, uniforms and necessary adaptations to Lathom High School.
“The schoolchildren who will remain in Glenburn to complete their studies must be provided with all the staffing and facility resources they need for them to achieve their best possible results.
“Throughout this consultation process I have stood shoulder to shoulder with pupils and parents and will continue to do so as we move forward and work for a better future for education provision in Skelmersdale.
“Skelmersdale’s children deserve education provision and facilities that match their ambitions, aspirations and the needs of all school pupils.”
In October last year, Lancashire County Council announced its decision to consult on the possible closure of Glenburn Sports College.
As a result, the Save Glenburn campaign began, and continued through the consultation and representation stages. Since the announcement by Lancashire County Council to consult on the possible closure of Glenburn Sports College, Rosie has met with parents, joined hundreds of residents on a protest march, supported the petition signed by over 1000 residents and presented it to Parliament.
Also, Rosie has brokered a meeting between a group of parents and the county council cabinet member for schools and secured a Westminster Hall Debate on Secondary Education Provision in Skelmersdale in December.
She also questioned the Minister of State for Schools on the potential of a conflict of interest of the Glenburn Educational Trust Chair being the County Council’s Director of Education overseeing the closure.