Chartfield School Fights On!

Chair of the Governors refuses to give up the battle to keep Chartfield School.


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An ex-parents letter of concern to Baroness Ashton & Wandsworth Council

On the 22nd January Wandsworth Council voted to close Chartfield school. Chartfield is a special needs secondary school in Putney which caters for children who are classed as delicate/vulnerable and who have specific learning difficulties.

Parents and friends of the school demonstrated outside the town hall before the meeting and packed the public gallery. Despite the school's very
successful track record(top rated secondary in the borough on the Value Added score of the Performance League tables) and being highly popular, the Council voted to close the school. Their plan to replace the provision is in two ways.

Firstly, to increase Garratt Park to take another 32 children and re-designate the school to attract an even wider range of children. However, we currently have a role of 79 so this will fall drastically short of the need for places. Our children are also very different to theirs, which is why they were sent to Chartfield and not Garratt Park in the first place!
Their second plan is to provide a peripatetic service. This will mean our delicate/vulnerable children will be in mainstream secondaries and a team of teachers will once in a while visit the various schools across the borough providing some sort of extra support.

However, Wandsworth aren't being any more specific! In fact they haven't used a peripatetic service anywhere else and have no examples of where else outside of the borough it works. Our Parents don't want mainstream and they certainly don't want their current excellent provision being replaced by if, buts and maybes. Plus, mainstream don't want us. That's why no Wandsworth maintained secondary school agreed to a unit.

When our Parents raised the issue of bullying we were told they would give our kids classes on how to try to avoid it, and that they would try and set some sort of quiet room up so they could hide away. Most of our pupils have already been bullied badly that's why they are classed as
delicate. Wandsworth seemed quite shocked we didn't want our kids hiding in a room every break time and that they had as much right to outside play as the mainstream children. We are NOT against Inclusion. It's just children don't fit into neat little educational boxes where Inclusion works for everyone.

So what next. We go to the Schools Organisation Committee. They have to be unanimous either way which is highly unlikely. Then it goes to an Adjudicator appointed by the Dept for Education and Skills who makes the final decision. If all else fails then we go to court.

All details of the campaign are on

Howard Battersby
Chair of Governors

January 26, 2004