Parents against Greenwich Council's closure plans for Charlotte Turner

First published in Where I Live

PARENTS say they will fight proposals to close Charlotte Turner Primary School.

Greenwich Council is to consult on closing the school in Benbow Street, Deptford, after an Ofsted visit in November judged it be inadequate in every area.

Ofsted’s report stated: “Standards are exceptionally low and have been so for far too long.

“The lack of experience at all levels of leadership combined with the high turnover of staff and inadequate teaching, has resulted in almost all groups of pupils underachieving.”

But parents say the school is struggling because of a lack of investment and pupils with special needs who have not been given enough support.

Parent Angelina Leonida, aged 37, of Besson Street, New Cross, said: “It’s the children that are going to suffer.

“Surely if the council had supported the school there would have been improvement.

“The parents aren’t going to give up without a fight. It’s for the education of all the children in the area and for the area’s future.”

With support from Greenwich Unison, parents plan to lobby a council meeting on January 28 and organise a protest march.

Parents, staff and the school’s governing body will be consulted on whether to shut the school down from August 31 this year.

An interim board will replace Charlotte Turner’s governing body following the decision at a cabinet meeting on January 20.

Council director of children’s services Gillian Palmer told the meeting the council had invested heavily in the school.

She said: “I think the history of the school raises serious queries about its capacity for improvement.”

Lianne Graham’s eight-year-old daughter Sade goes to the school.

The 33-year-old, of Royal Close, Deptford, said: “My worry is my daughter might struggle with the change going to another school.

“They’re closing it because they’re worried about saving money.”

Leader of Greenwich Conservatives Cllr Spencer Drury said he was concerned pupils would be moved to Morden Mount Primary School in Lewisham Road, Lewisham.

He said: “ Jamming pupils from one failing school into another one which is struggling, sounds like a recipe for disaster.

“I am concerned at what appears to be a panicked, short-term decision by the council.”

Charlotte Turner has 238 pupils, nearly three-quarters of whom live in Lewisham borough and the council says it will be Lewisham’s responsibility to find other schools for them.

It was previously known as Hughes Fields Primary, which was itself closed in December 2002 after an Ofsted inspection and reopened as Charlotte Turner.

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