Socialist Worker

School closure campaign

by Phil Marfleet
Issue No. 1901

PARENTS AT Craven Park Primary School in Hackney, east London have won an absolutely stunning victory in their battle to save the school. Two months ago we were told that the school must close by July, and that our kids would be dispersed across the borough.

But a campaign by parents, children and staff has saved the school, and forced the Learning Trust-which runs education in Hackney-into a humiliating retreat. At a meeting of the trust board on Monday officials agreed that Craven Park would stay open and would be strengthened, rather than abandoned.

Parent Marie Ritchie said, "This is our victory-the parents, the kids and the teachers. We never let up until they climbed down." Parents argued that the trust's real agenda was to sell the valuable school site.

The trust now wants to apply for Fresh Start funding from the government. Parents reject this, as Fresh Start may threaten the jobs of teachers. On Monday of this week local Respect candidate Dean Ryan told the demonstration, "Unity won this victory-unity of parents, trade unionists and people of the community. If the trust does not learn the lesson they will be in deeper trouble."

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Sat 15 May 2004, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1901
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