Fresh Start fails
THE government's "Fresh Start" initiative for so called "failing" schools was dealt another blow this week. Firfield Community College in Newcastle, the first school to take part in the scheme, is now threatened with closure. Firfield, previously known as Blakelaw School, is in one of the poorest parts of Newcastle.
It was reopened under the Fresh Start scheme in September 1998 and given �1.5 million of government money. But the Fresh Start scheme has failed to address the real problems of underfunding and resources for children from a deprived area. Earlier this year the school's "super-head", Carole McAlpine, resigned. She was one of three �70,000 a year "super-heads" to quit Fresh Start schools within days of each other. The threatened closure of Firfield highlights what an expensive gimmick the whole Fresh Start scheme has been.