Labour Closes Ewing School

Taking the petition to Parliament with pupils and teachers from Ewing School in June 2009.

This morning I attending CYPOS (Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee) to listen to the discussion about the proposed closure of Ewing School. The Lib Dems had “called in” the decision made by Labour Executive Members because we were very unhappy about the consultation for the closure, and the failure of the Council to take into consideration the concerns raised by the Health Service.

I was amazed how little Labour Councillors knew about Ewing School, and one by one they tried to claim that closure of Ewing was the only way to ensure inclusion. They seem to have conveniently forgotten that Ewing has won awards for inclusion and that 38% of the children that go to Ewing have already been failed by mainstream. The Council officers couldn’t even answer the question when they were asked how many Ewing pupils had been in mainstream schools and had to leave and come to Ewing, so how can they possibly know that the new provision will be adequate for their education needs?

All bar one of the co-opted members of the committee abstained on the vote for closure. The only person who did not was Julie Reed, who claimed to represent Manchester parents on the committee. She defended the decision of the Labour Councillors and even shook her head when Cllr Marc Ramsbottom described Ewing as an excellent school, even though this is the view of Ofsted.

All the way through the meeting the Labour Chair of the Committee, Cllr Alistair Cox, tried to stifle debate, and he even tried to stop East Didsbury Lib Dem Councillor David Sandiford from moving an amendment, and he had to be reminded by the Committee clerk that he was not allowed to do this.

The whole debate was a sham, with Labour councillors towing the party line, and ignoring the concerns of parents, teachers and Governors.  Every single Labour Councillor voted to close the school. This is the scrutiny system at its worst.

5 responses to “Labour Closes Ewing School

  1. Hi John,
    Just to say that I am so sorry to hear that Ewing School is to close .
    I used to work there around 1982 and it was a highly thought of school best in the country families came from all over to place there children.
    It now saddens me to hear that one of the best schools as to close ….why can’t it be saved had a certificate of excellance when I worked there as a Trainee Teaching Assistant..why have labour done this when they said that they would concentrate on Education,.hospitals.
    These poor families must be devastated..Is there anything we can do ?..Perhaps running the on a maybe voluntary basis… what about a peppercorn rent system…maybe buy the school and carry on
    sorry for thinking out aloud.
    just feel so sad families..Labour are dragging the country down they seem to bring false hope.
    It’s a pity

  2. P.s. Everyone in Ewing school included staff were treated all equal learning there was love , laughter, and a wonderful place to work …. it was not work it was a pleasure to help and now its sad that everyone as to have a label attached Kids are future Mr Brown…We are all the same, we have thoughts ,feelings ,… Is a pity you put ‘Education’ again in front of your firing squad ..How many other schools are going to is the kids that will suffer …when you have laced your pockets…. (sorry John but its all true don’t you think? )

  3. Hi John, I have been looking at archived information re Ewing school and notice that in Jan last year you GUARANTEED that Ewing would stay open should the Lib Dems gain control.
    Now that you are in joint control of the country, can I assume that the school will remain open?
    Thank you,


  4. Mark

    In my original post I actually said “Manchester Liberal Democrats have vowed to reverse the school’s closure if they win a majority of seats on the council in May 2010”. We didn’t take control of the Council in 2010 unfortunately, and the decision lies with the Council. This is still dominated by the Labour Party, and so the closure is going ahead.

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