Steve McCabe MP (Birmingham Selly Oak) has said the Government have completely betrayed Druids Heath after announcing today that they will close Baverstock Academy at the end of this academic year.
The local MP has repeatedly called on the government to find a sponsor to rescue the school which was first plunged into uncertainty in June 2016. Despite promising to do so, and reports of a viable offer from a sponsor to take it over, the Department for Education have dragged their feet for 10 months and treated pupils, parents, teachers, staff and the local community with complete contempt.
Steve McCabe MP pointed out that it’s outrageous that the Government are closing a much needed local secondary school when demand for school places is set to increase and at the same time announcing they will be spending over £300 million opening new grammar and free schools.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“The decision to close Baverstock Academy in Druids Heath is nothing less than a complete betrayal of my constituents. It’s been clear for some time that this Government don’t care one bit about pupils, parents and the local community. They are happy to spend money on opening new grammar schools but not on saving a local school.
“There are still serious questions about future demand for school places and what will happen to local youngsters when other secondary schools in the area reach full capacity. It is quite likely that the Government will have to look at opening a new secondary school in this area in the next couple of years. It is a ridiculous situation.
“The contempt shown for Druids Heath over Baverstock is staggering. After 10 months of dithering and broken promises the Government have got their way. It looks like Theresa May’s idea of helping ordinary people is to close a local school and wash her hands of my constituents. Voting Tory is the surest way to guarantee having a closure sign slapped on local facilities. They are closing our schools, stealing their funding and failing our colleges. It’s a total disgrace.’
Local Brandwood Councillor, Eva Phillips said:
“The Department for Education have never cared about Baverstock, its pupils, parents or teachers and the decision to close Baverstock today just confirms that Druids Heath will not forgive the Government over how they have been treated.
“There are a lot of questions that still need to be answered but our main priority must be supporting the pupils to find new schools and we need to make sure that extra support and assistance is given to pupils in Year 10 who are in the middle of their GCSE courses.”