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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Chetwynde School in Barrow to close

CHETWYNDE School is to close in July.

Have your say

As a former pupil at Chetwynde I’m saddened to hear the news as I think this school provides a valuable service to the Furness area. I think for any rescue package to work there must be a review of current staffing levels and remuneration packages. I can’t remember the numbers now as the press release has been removed from the Chetwynde web site but the current pupils (taken from the Evening Mail web site) are 287 and from memory the number of staff was around 80. Admittedly some of these are part time but it seems like a high number of staff compared to the number of pupils, perhaps someone in the education system could offer some comparative info. Also, I’m shocked to read the annual fees they seem to have quadrupled over the last 10-15 years and I very much doubt the average salary in the Cumbria area has done the same. I think for anyone pledging money to help save the school the priority has to be the pupils and any money doesn’t go straight in the back pockets of the teachers so it would be a good exercise to benchmark the remuneration packages in place for teachers and to consider reducing staffing levels. It’s no good benchmarking against national levels, this is Barrow after all, it might mean teachers taking a 10-20% pay reduction for the sake of the school and more importantly the pupils but they’re all in this together. I don’t see how people can be surprised to see attendance levels this low when the fees are probably so disproportionate to earnings in the area. I’m hoping someone with more experience in this field can volunteer their time and make public the findings of a business/staffing review before any of the pledges are collected.

Posted by RF on 31 March 2012 at 10:51

Leaving aside the inflammatory comments from narrow minded bigots; I can totally understand why parents of children in state education in Barrow are so defensive on this issue. If you are financially disadvantaged & can't afford to send your child to a private school should you wish to, then it's understandable that you will be offended by comments inferring that the only way to get a good education is to pay for it.
There are good & bad points about state schools, there are also good & bad points about private education; but at the centre of it there are children. We ALL want what is best for our children, no matter how much we earn or how we choose to spend it.

There are families at Chetwynde who are very well off and families who are not; it's a very mixed bag.
I read a suggestion somewhere on here that instead of putting their money into private education, parents should invest in the local economy instead.
There does not exist, as far as I am aware, some mythical land where Chetwynde parents spend their money. They live and work locally, some have local businesses, they shop at Tesco & Asda - just as non Chetwynde parents do. They also pay income tax - lots of it in some cases - some of which goes into the state education system.
Fees pay the staff wage bill which the staff then spend locally. We live at the end of the longest cul-de-sac in England don't we? There's no other option but to invest in the local economy.

Posted by Parent on 31 March 2012 at 09:24

As a former pupil of St. Bernards, I could not help but share the emotional dissapointment with everyone associated with Chetwynde School. I have fond memories of playing netball and rounders for my school team against my chetwynde counterparts. I would like to take this oppertunity to pledge my support to the school and everyone who is trying to save it. I am not ashamed to admit that my emotions got the better of me and i broke down in tears when i heard it was to shut, my mum put an arm round me and told me everything would be ok as she stroked my hair. I'am a DTO in BAE systems, and as you know, our company motto is "One Determined Team" which i think Chetwynde and the people trying to save it should adopt in order to save it. I promise you i will help out in any way i can to organise, take part, and fulfill any fundrasing activities. Love, Health and many years of continued happiness to Chetwynde school........LETS KEEP FIGHTING YOU GUYS X

Posted by Joshua Cain on 31 March 2012 at 09:19

If NB is actually correct in his assumption, "Far too many ..... ..... Chetwynde have had."
then it can only mean that people are jealous of pupils' status. That's the other thing that is attained, as a by-product of a private education. Status. People can be jealous of schools, or BMWs, anything they don't have or can't afford. It's a sad reflection of humanity that we're capable of this emotion but we're all human. We're not all good at admitting to it though. I took a good few beatings as a lad purely because I went to Barrow Boys' Grammar School, the situation was the same. Except my parents didn't pay for me to go there, I won that right sitting at a desk aged about 10 in an exam. It didn't stop lads from other schools having a go. Life can be tough and if someone can buy a way out of a situation then good luck to them. Good luck with the fight to save your school.

Posted by Semper Sursum on 31 March 2012 at 09:04

@ EDM i agree with Dave. Life is unfair, and it's not because he's covering up his guilt. Why should he have any guilt?!! if the government can't provide a satisfactory state system that doesn't rely on private schools for the best ratings, then why blame the Chetwynde parents, or worse still, tax them further despite paying tax to the state system and the fees already? Like i've always thought, if you made Chetwynde into a state school, there'd be no private school in the area, and if you read my other post, i explain that the school supplies for doctors and businessmen in BAE, so without it the area's economy would be greatly harmed. Just think about the consequences before you demand certain actions take place, hmm?

Posted by Steve on 31 March 2012 at 08:50

To all of those who want the school to close, think about it like this. All the doctors send their kids to chetwynde rather than state schools. All the foreign businessmen/women who come for BAE send them to Chetwynde. Now let's just think, if Chetwynde closed, those people wouldn't want their kids in main stream, so they won't come to Barrow. We all know that it's BAE alone that's keeping Barrow from hitting the recession really badly, so if those businessmen don't come, and neither do the doctors, just think how shit this town is going to be. just think about how badly the recession has hit everywhere else in the country, and apply that to Barrow. It'll just end up becoming a hell hole. So from that perspective, whether you are pro or anti private schools, it's imperative that Chetwynde remains open, for the sake of the area's economy.

Posted by Steve on 31 March 2012 at 08:37

Thank goodness Chetwynde is to be saved.My nephew had to be removed from state schooling in Barrow.And sent to Chetwynde to recieve a decent education.His parents scrimped and went without to pay his fees.I myself attend Sir Alfred Barrow school in the days when teaching was a vocation not an easy life as it is now.Thanks again Mr Lion,Kendal,Lancaster.Spencer,Parker and any teacher I have missed from the days when a good all round education was the norm.If it was not for the likes of you I would never have seen the things I have seen nor done what I have done.

Posted by Barrow Lad on 31 March 2012 at 07:54

@ NB.... very well said, totally agree, the kids are the ones being forgotten about in the vast majority of these postings... shame the wider community don't appear, in parts, to consider that.

Posted by Parent from Chetwynde on 31 March 2012 at 07:25

For those thinking of running the school themselves, be careful: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-17562032

Posted by Ron Creer on 31 March 2012 at 05:40

@ Degsy - I'm sorry if my comment offended you and on reflection " trawl" may not have been the best phrase to use. I was not trying to belittle other Headteachers or suggest they have nothing better to do. However, the point I was trying to make is that the threats of bullying worry me. I was bullied at one of those schools over 20 years ago and it saddened me to see that it is still an issue. It may seem a silly point ( or a point badly made) but I would hate to see children bullied just because of where they have been educated; or for any reason for that matter. My two hopes are that Chetwynde is saved and if not, that the pupils are allowed to continue their education elsewhere trouble free. Apologies again, sincerely, Lisa.

Posted by Lisa Speakman on 30 March 2012 at 23:58

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