Thursday, May 07, 2009

Lewisham Bridge Protest

The tents have been up for over a week now and it's all looking very jaunty . The "Hands Off Lewisham Bridge" protest is holding a march and rally this Saturday, 9th May, from 12.00pm. "Bring banners & balloons" says the flyer that came through our door.
Assemble opposite Lewisham Bridge school, Elmira Street, and march . There's then a rally at the Clocktower, Lewisham High Street, at 12.30pm.
As the previous post and discussion highlighted, issue here isn't just the closure of Lewisham Bridge primary but the broader disorganisation of education in the Lewisham / New Cross area.

Don't think details are final yet, contact 020 8314 7487 or (doing the usual anti-spam thing with the '@') to confirm details.
Balloons need to be utilised much more in protest culture, me thinks.


ross said...

i was out leafletting for this at the weekend- by the way another primary school in the area has today been occupied by parents protesting against it's closure - charlotte turner school in greenwich, bit of background info here

AB said...

Do you even know what the protest is about? Do you know the history? Do you know about the extreme need for new secondary places in the north of the borough? Where do you suggest those sites be found if not at Lewisham Bridge? Or do you just attach yourself to any protest going because it's easy?

AB said...

'those places' not 'those sites'...

ross said...

there are numerous reasons why I am against the proposed 'solution' from the council,(and i can assure you, protests of any type are not 'easy')

- the decision to decant children and interupt their education when they don't even have permission to demolish/build the replacement school (and a number of major obstacles stand in the way of them getting this right), therfore placing unnecessasry disruption to the children's education, not to mention the impact on them of a three mile commute every day, the starting point of said commute is a perfectly good school building & facilities which now stands empty & un used which the council seem determined to let rot, while kids get bussed to a centre that's not even meant to be a school in the first place (and given the detractors of the save lewisham bridge campaign always seem to point out that the existing building at lewisham bridge, a school, isn't good enough to provide modern schooling facilities, it's ironic that they think it's fine to send kids to a place that wasn't even meant to be a school every day for more than two years)

- the loss of one of the few remaining historical buildings in the area

- the persistent ignoring by the council of objections from parents, staff and local residents about the plans

- the blind determination by the council to go ahead with the demolition of a building that's received listed status and hand over the school and resources to a private unaccountable feudal throwback body who will then be responsible for both the selection and education of the children - i'm not saying there's a massive amount of accountability in the current system, but at least parents/residents get a chance to vote in and out councilors/mayors who in turn control local authority schools plus parent/school governors are elected and numerous - contrast with no accountability from leathersellers and the fact that only one parent will be a governor and even then selected by them, not elected by parents - so the end of any hope of democratic accountability in the way education is run and provided

- the fact that the proposed new school is going to be built on a site that is far too small for it meaning extremely cramped play areas, huge amounts of children across a wide age range having to share access to various areas/services

- the fact that it's effectively privatising the kids education by handing over responsbility & assets to a private unaccountable body who are able to set their own admissions policy - shifting the focus from a central focus of child centred learning to the central focus of private profit

- the fact that although demand for primary school places is set to rise over the next few years the proposed scheme involves the reduction of primary school places (same argument goes for the decision to close charlote turner school in deptford) with the current two classes per primary year being replaced with one - so we end up with either a reduction in places available and/or a huge increase in class sizes

- the fact that at present when we have the most vivid examples of what happens when you rely primarily on the market to make things work, local & central govt are still determined to hand over more and more public services to private hands, this being increasingly so with the marketisation of eduaction over the last 5 or so years

- the fact that most people know by now who pays when things are privatised

and yes, secondary school places are required in the north of the borough, so why not build it in the north of the borough where the places are more in need? as for alternatives sites are you seriously suggesting in teh whole of lewisham, the site of lewisham bridge is the only site available that could be used to build a school? you just need to stand on the roof of the school and glance outwards to see huge areas of land that could have been used, but no the needs of 'more profitable' private enterprise got first preference on all them - but you also have to ask yourself, why, over the years have huge amounts of land have been handed over to private developers to build upon, but now, even in a massive properyt downturn, nothing can be found for the purposes of education?

Transpontine said...

AB - personally I know all about the history and the need for school places, I was actively involved in the New School for New Cross campaign, from demonstrations to DJing at benefits. I also appreciate the constraints national Government policy is putting on secondary school development (i.e. the Academy route, with a private sponsor, is pretty much the only show in town as far as gettng money out of the Government).

However, I agree with most of the points Ross made about the shortcomings of this scheme and I have grave doubts about primary and secondary schools being under one management, the needs of young children (in the nursery they can be just turned three) are very different from those of sixteen year olds.

ross said...

noticed that a split in the green party seems to have developed over this with the green left coming out in full support of the occupiers and their cause, whilst prominent local green represenatives (darren, sue etc..) appear to be supporting the council backed plans

Nunhead Centre said...

It's all happening.
I'll pop down and take some shots if you want.

Transpontine said...

if you have any good photos, please do email them - address at top of blog.