Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: questions about the sensory garden, resources, Elleray Park and Stanley (Part 5)
The next question was about the £80,000 that had been raised by the public to pay for a sensory garden at Lyndale School. He asked what plans do they have for the sensory garden and how would you plan to get the money back to the people that donated it?
Phil Ward answered, “Well what it is, if a school, my colleagues can talk about the buildings on the site, but if a school does close clearly there would be in keeping, well we don’t know. We don’t know”.. “well resources that can be used, well resources that can be used certainly”… David Armstrong said, “It’s a what if question because there’s no decision made. There’s no real gardens, there’s no decision been taken to determine it.” The questioner replied with, “Well I’m sure if we knew at the time that there was the chance that all our hard work would be”… “we would not have done all that hard work.” to which David Armstrong replied, “All I will say is, all I will say is, that certainly in my time here we’ve always treated the school sites, what I’ve tried to do is do it with real sensitivity to what’s been the best care that I can.”
The questioner said it was a very, very unique school. David Armstrong replied with, “What we’ve done is anything that related to a particular pupil, anything that was in memory of a particular pupil we’ve dealt with that first and then we’ve gone on from that”…. The questioner asked who put the amphitheatre at the back of Lyndale School to which David Armstrong replied, “I don’t know.” The person asking the question said it was put there by lads working on a Youth Training Scheme for Wirral Action to which David Armstrong replied, “I can’t know every single detail.”
Phil Ward said, “Well clearly we’ve closed that one down, time moves on, there are different circumstances and we are where we are now.”
Ian Lewis said, “Four years ago, when I was a member of the Cabinet, the officers insisted on .. the officers brought a recommendation to close the Kingsway Primary School in Seacombe. It wasn’t a special school, it isn’t a special school and the argument for closing the school was that it isn’t financially viable.
I and the rest of the Cabinet voted against that proposal and four years later that school is still open and in its recent OFSTED inspection it was found to be outstanding. So on what basis do you think that, for the two directors, on the basis that this here is a school is for children who are vulnerable? If in four years time that’s still here, who’s to say it won’t be viable?”…
“Secondly, you mentioned the teaching in the other schools that you’re proposing Elleray Park and Stanley. That as I understand it won’t be one to one as we currently have at Lyndale, so issues such as basic issues such as toileting they would be left. If the children going to Lyndale, assuming this proposal went through, the children from Lyndale went to those other two schools and if their current level of education was to be maintained I would expect that they would have one to one levels of support as they have now, wouldn’t that therefore affect the viability of those schools that they were going to if they’re having to increase staffing to cope with the one to one and that’s a question to the two directors.”
Phil Ward said, “Well I’ll just reply to the one question if I may..”
Ian Lewis replied, “Sorry, I’m not familiar with who you are. Who are you?”
Phil Ward replied, “I’m the strategic lead for special educational needs for Wirral. The question of one to one,…”
Ian Lewis said, “Can I ask the directors that question please?”
Phil Ward said, “If you’ll let me get to the last bit, the question of, I’ll bring them in in a sec, the question of one to one, I’ve spoken with the headteachers at the other schools and the basic premise that we’re working on and the staff that we’re working on that every school, every special school in this consultation can provide similar same levels of support to the youngsters if they had to move. It’s all about to the management of the curriculum and staff within the schools. Nothing is ruled out, nothing is impossible. We would not be significantly changing support for the children at the school.”
Ian Lewis replied, “Sorry if you can’t answer a question than I don’t think you should be involved. You haven’t answered the question about the children.” Phil ward interrupts. Ian Lewis continues despite the interuption, “What I’m saying is, let me finish please, what you’ve said is, you will move resources around into the two existing schools because of the increase in, for the children at Lyndale and therefore by definition, the education of the children in these two schools, will be diminished” and again Phil Ward interrupted him and they both started talking at the same time. Ian Lewis continued, “No sorry, will you please let me finish!? Let me continue please! It’s very, very rude for an officer, thank you! What I’m saying to you is, if you’ve got a set finite number of resources and don’t look at me like that I’d appreciate it. If you’ve got a finite number of resources and you share those amongst the number of pupils, then what you’re doing by putting more of those resources onto the children that need it as we have at Lyndale you must be taking those resources from somewhere.”
Phil Ward replied, “Right, I think I’ll bring in the Director on that.”
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