Chetwynde School in Barrow to close
Last updated at 08:30, Friday, 30 March 2012
CHETWYNDE School is to close in July.
Have your say
As a former pupil at Chetwynde Iâm 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 canât 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, Iâm 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 doesnât 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. Itâs 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 theyâre all in this together. I donât see how people can be surprised to see attendance levels this low when the fees are probably so disproportionate to earnings in the area. Iâm 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.
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.
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.
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