To ask how this can be anything other than racism?

(75 Posts)
SuedeEffectPochette Fri 26-Apr-13 13:16:35

local opposition to proposed new secondary state boarding school. Here

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2013/apr/21/labour-race-row-west-sussex-academy

I listened to some woman on the radio saying she was concerned for the children being part of this "experiment". Really? It is surely NIMBYism to oppose this isn't it? Lucky children who live in Lambeth I say, and I hope it means that you all get a better education.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:13:46

I think that might be close to the demographic of Durand.

And it isn't aimed deliberately at a certain percentage of black children, (for heaven's sake) it is the secondary provision of a s london school, and will represent whoever is at the school.

The idea behind the school is that children, who typically do very welll and achieve top results in Durand (as in many Lambeth schools), are not then disadvantaged by a negative local or family environment as they progress thorugh secondary. These are not chidren being removed because they themselves need 'dealing with', they are normal children.

Brixton may well have many differences from Sussex, but I fail to see why children from Chelsea or westminster can be shipped out to boarding schools in the country but inner city s london kids must remain ghetto-ised where they are.

The whole reaction stinks to high heaven. The DM reported on the residents meeting that raised the belief that these children would need to be 'searched daily for weapons'.

The vast majority of young people in Brixton and Stockwell are well behaved children wanting to do well - just like anywhere else. Unfortunately, due to years of complex pressures and circumstances boys who have the potential to do well sometimes become involved in gang activity as the only way they see to stay safe. It is this cycle the Head of the school is trying to avoid, I think.

In breaking cycles of underachivement THE WHOLE COUNTRY will benefit.

PatPig Fri 26-Apr-13 14:14:05

The school is 97% ethnic minority, but I'm sure Lambeth as a whole is not.

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:15:37

The school is already there. It's only 600 pupils.

PatPig Fri 26-Apr-13 14:16:54

I checked, Lambeth is around 86% ethnic minority.

Wow.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:19:22

PatPig - no, local residents have been equally vocal, and amongst the traffic worries, many comments have been pretty obnoxious.

Don'tMindIfIDo: It has already been used as a boarding school - and it isn't a 'very large secondary' - it's 600 kids, living ON SITE for the weekdays only, and travelling back to London for the w/e. And most boardng schools don't cater for the local village, do they?

This school might, however, offer considerable local employment, from teaching staff to maintenance and admin and catering, and supplies of food and other goods and services. Could be a major boost to the local economy.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:19:41

I'm pretty certain that Lambeth does not have 97% BME mix. I presume it's being paid for by this school, and not Sussex, so bar the use of the land (which presumably has been purchased far and square) it seems fair for Lambeth pupils to use it.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:20:32

My child is an ethnic minority child in Lambeth.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:24:47

Pat pig - that's weird, I googled v quickly and got v different stats to hat - about 37% BME from previous PCT website. Not the mos thorough of searches though, I'll admit smile

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:25:01

Why on earth does Lambeth's ethnic mix matter? Why does the ethnic origin if the children matter?

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:26:02

Oh and I agree with Blu!

CloudsAndTrees Fri 26-Apr-13 14:26:49

I can understand why the local resident are pissed off. I would be too.

I really don't understand why one inner city area deserves to have a boarding school built for it miles away. Surely it would be better to deal with problems where they are actually occurring rather than shifting half of it elsewhere.

And if the school used to provide for children with SN, then it's facilities would probably be better used by children who have SN it's not like we are overflowing with good schools that cater for children with SN, so maybe they should focus on using the school as it was intended.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:27:49

Sorry, just to be clear, I don't think the ethnic origin of the pupils matters. I was just being a pedant and picking up n the point earlier on that someone made about Lambeth's ethnic mix.

Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 14:28:45

The sensible local objector I heard on the radio says none of their objections are about those issues. They simply think the site which is much much smaller than any boarding school ever has is not suitable as I am sure most people living near by just about anywhere would argue.

It sounds like an interesting experiment to me and worth a go. The junior school is apparently quite good and yet the children it churns out who are doing so well then go on to secondaries and apparently often fail. They instead want the children from 4 - 18. There might be some merit though in having 50% of children at it from the local area so it's 50/50 white and black and the Lambeth children have lessons with local posher state school local children as well.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:30:13

Do we know that h SN school is being shut down because of this new school, or the new school is being opened and that the site happens to be free?

Pendeen Fri 26-Apr-13 14:30:41

Who is paying for this experiment?

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:31:21

CloudsAndTrees - this enterprising Academy school has raised the money itself to buy this site. They run a sports centre etc the profits of which go back into the school.

The local people already had a school there. Why does any comunity 'deserve' to have a baording school built for it - why can;t children form wealthy families be educated oin theier doorsteps? They WON'T be 'shifting the problem' to Sussex - the children who will be studying in the school are not the problem!

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:32:57

"There might be some merit though in having 50% of children at it from the local area so it's 50/50 white and black and the Lambeth children have lessons with local posher state school local children as well." I agree, actually, Xenia - and think that the benefit of that would be 100% mutual.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:33:49

I believe the school also does swimming lessons at normal price to help cross subsidise lessons for children from poorer backgrounds.

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:44

This isn't a new thing. We had state boarding at my comprehensive school in the 80's and some pupils were there so that they were away from the pressures of home, and were made to go to school. Other children had parents in the forces.

It certainly wasn't a magic wand, I do recall some pupils running away, struggling with being away from family.

It was shut down in the '90's.

complexnumber Fri 26-Apr-13 14:40:56

Have there been any reactions from local residents?

I hope their concerns, if any, will be listened to without the outraged cries of racism from uninvolved parties.

If they are ignored, then yet another breeding ground for the promotion of parties such as UKIP will be born.

I wonder how many of us would truly welcome such a proposal into our own communities without a certain degree of concern.

Xenia Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:13

Yes, the local residents like most of us do not suddenly want 600 more people next to their village and what is an empty building with lots of grounds where they walk dogs changed. It is not surprising but I expect they will get used to it.

The residents case is about land use and suitability of the site. They have been quite careful not to object to the school or the idea behind it for obvious reasons.

ubik Fri 26-Apr-13 14:45:20

I don't know complex number. I live near several hostels, and walk past the queue for methadone in the mornings. I live in a lovely part of a city and these things go on without affecting my life in the slightest.

KitchenandJumble Fri 26-Apr-13 14:47:17

The statements made by the district councillor are unquestionably racist. Horrible little man.

The school sounds as though it could be excellent. I'm not a fan of boarding schools in general, but clearly many parents favour this option. More power to them.

Blu Fri 26-Apr-13 14:48:50

of course residents can and should voice legitimate concerns. Unfortunately the 'outraged cries of racism' have been in response to some of the comments which residents have made (if the DM is to be believed - but the Independent reported on a residents mtg, too), and on the comments of thier elected representative.

Actually I work with children from the Brixton / Stockwell area, and it is quite damaging for them to see themselves described as if they were a separate sub-civillised species. I have a BAMER child and live in Lambeth.

Free speech and genuine consultation is of course crucial, but it is equally important to advocate for children described in grossly prejudical terms.

Binkybix Fri 26-Apr-13 14:54:15

I agree that legitimate concerns should be listened to, without people automatically being branded a racist, but I think that it would be hard to argue that the councillor in question did not fall into this category.

I'm interested to know why posters such as clouds have said automatically that they would be pissed off, without knowing the circs for this community (unless you do indeed live there). Not being snarky. Genuine question.

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