The 6 “missing” pages of Cllr Tony Smith’s expenses claims shed more light on Lyndale School matters

The 6 “missing” pages of Cllr Tony Smith’s expenses claims shed more light on Lyndale School matters

The 6 “missing” pages of Cllr Tony Smith’s expenses claims shed more light on Lyndale School matters

                                                                                

As part of the 2013/14 audit of Wirral Council, I exercised a legal right to a copy of the councillors’ expenses forms. I have published what I received last month (which attracted much public interest), but a lot of pages were still not provided at that point. You can read the earlier nine pages for Councillor Tony Smith here.

The internal processes seem to be that the finance side of Wirral Council ask for these from Human Resources. Human Resources then ask for legal advice. The legal side of Wirral Council then recommend to redact officer names, registration numbers of councillors’ cars, payroll numbers, signatures and other information on these forms. Quite why that whole process takes over two months I’m not quite sure.

As many readers of this blog will know there was a call in of the Cabinet decision of September 4th on Lyndale School which happened during a five-hour public meeting on the evening of October 2nd 2014. The six pages of the Cabinet Member for Education’s expenses (Cllr Tony Smith) I requested in August 2014 but were only supplied to me this morning (17th October 2014).

It shows some meetings which may be of interest to the continuing public debate on Lyndale School. The last meeting with Alison McGovern MP is education related due to its location, however whether it is connected to Lyndale School or a different education matter I am unsure at this point. I include the original six pages below.

Wirral Council also provided me today with a further dozen or so pages of councillors expenses for other councillors that had also been missing from what I had been supplied with. I plan to publish these in the near future.

Date | Description | Departure location | Return time and location| No of miles| Rate

17.5.13 | Visits to Foxfield and Elleray Park School – in role of Cabinet Member | Home | | 10 | 0.40p
9.8.13 | Meeting re Lyndale School with Director + Officers / Hamilton Building | Home | Hamilton | 10 | 0.40p
13.9.13 | Meeting ?? ?? M.P. Alison McGovern and officers / Hamilton | Home | Hamilton | 10 | 0.40p

Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 1 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 1 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 2 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 2 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 3 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 3 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 4 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 4 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 5 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 5 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 6 of 6
Cllr Tony Smith expenses claim 2013 page 6 of 6

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Wirral Council’s Cabinet to decide on one of 3 options for Lyndale: keep it open, close it or change it to an academy

Wirral Council’s Cabinet to decide on one of 3 options for Lyndale: keep it open, close it or change it to an academy

Wirral Council’s Cabinet to decide on one of 3 options for Lyndale: keep it open, close it or change it to an academy

 

Phil Ward (Wirral Council's SEN Lead) at a later meeting of Wirral Schools Forum 2nd July 2014 (who chaired the consultation meeting at Acre Lane on the 16th June)

Phil Ward (Wirral Council’s SEN Lead) at a later meeting of Wirral Schools Forum 2nd July 2014 (who chaired the consultation meeting at Acre Lane on the 16th June and is referred to in some of the consultation responses)

Well the papers for the special meeting of Wirral Council’s Cabinet to decide on the next steps about Lyndale School have appeared on Wirral Council’s website.

Despite an officer refusing a month ago my Freedom of Information request for the consultation responses on the basis that they would be published (which implies that they would be published as part of the papers for the special Cabinet meeting) the consultation responses (a majority of responses are against closing the school) aren’t included in the papers for the Cabinet meeting.

In an exclusive for this blog I did publish them on Tuesday, but that’s not really the point.

I hate to labour the point, but this is how consultations are “supposed to work”. An idea or policy is proposed, you have a consultation on it, you then publish the consultation responses in an open and transparent way so that the decision makers take them on board.

Not including the consultation responses with the Cabinet papers for the special meeting, gives the impression that officers don’t want material published that would lead to say “awkward questions”. Surely doing consultations isn’t rocket science, surely Wirral Council has run so many consultations they know how to do it by now?

The “bureaucratic machinations” go beyond just this “oversight” of not including the approximately three hundred pages of consultation responses. After all some of those responses are very critical of the way the consultation was actually run.

Let’s take how officers deal with the large petition. This gets a brief mention in appendix 5 on the last page.

I quote “A petition was received in support of Lyndale School containing 10,692 entries, of which 2,580 were duplicates, illegible or un-named, missing or non-existent addresses and 3,178 were resident outside Wirral. The remaining 4,935 entries comprised 702 “written” entries and 4,233 “epetition” entries.”

Last time I checked, Wirral wasn’t its own country with a big twenty-foot wall on the border and rumours of “barbarians” outside Wirral that well, you don’t have to listen to. The school is in Eastham which is on the edge of Wirral! Of course there are going to be people outside of Wirral are going to sign the petition (some of whom will probably live far nearer the school than I do living in Bidston). To callously state or imply that the views of over three thousand people don’t count because they don’t live here, I mean well doesn’t this sum up an attitude that has caused some of the problems and got Wirral nicknamed the “insular peninsula”? Family members of those attending the school could be living outside the Wirral, so could staff or other people closely associated with the school.

Moving on to duplicates, there was a written petition and an e-petition, obviously some people will have signed both versions. As to “illegible or un-named, missing or non-existent addresses”, well (I’m writing this as someone who has in the past gone door to door collecting petition signatures but I’ll point out not this petition) there are many adults in today’s society that couldn’t write their own name and address even if they wanted to (a sad reflection of our education system). It doesn’t mean their views don’t count!

The report goes on to state “Note that the Wirral Council Petition Scheme says a valid e-petition entry requires name, postcode and e-mail address. The e-petition was submitted as part of the consultation with name and postcode but without e-mail address”, so basically what this is saying is that out of 10,692 petition signatures, a Wirral Council officer only classes the 702 on a written petition as “valid” and feels happy enough to just disregard the views of the other ten thousand people.

There is a breakdown of the petition signers by ward, obviously the ward where the school is based Eastham attracts the highest number.

However moving on to the crucial question of what is the actual recommendation of officers as to what to do next (and what’s the result of the independent report into whether the options meet the SEN Improvement Test)?

Well in a U-turn from previous statements about being minded to recommend closure, page 19 states “In January 2014 Cabinet agreed to undertake a consultation on the closure of The Lyndale School, the consultation closed in June 2014. This report recommends that Cabinet considers the contents of this report and makes a decision on this matter.” which probably to most people is a recommendation that is about as clear as mud as to what officers want but at least they’re trying to be impartial.

The reason given is “The Council has a responsibility to manage resources effectively for all schools and the school population. We would like to affirm our continued intention to work positively with the children and families affected by any recommendations, and reassure parents of our continued commitment to their child’s wellbeing and education.”

I will translate these two into plainer English for those not as familiar as myself with “Council speak”:

“In January* politicians decided to ask the public for their views on closing Lyndale School. Consultation with the public happened and finished in June. This report (written from the perspective of officers) tells you what we think happened during that consultation and it’s now time for politicians to make a decision.”

* Note: since January the politicians on the Cabinet have changed as Brian Kenny lost his seat in the May elections to the Green Party and Cllr Harry Smith has also left meaning there are two different Labour councillors taking these places (Cllr Stuart Whittingham and Cllr Bernie Mooney).

“It is about money, but don’t blame us senior officers for all this as we’re trying to put children first.”

So, what’s likely to happen and which of the options have been ruled out as they don’t meet the SEN Improvement Test?

Well this is detailed in the “independent” report.

This report states in section 5.2 “In reality the only viable course of action is Option 7, to close the Lyndale
School and expand Stanley School and Elleray Park School to provide 220/230 places.”

However the report is more detailed than that. Let’s analyse each of the options in detail:

Option 7.1 which are variations on retaining Lyndale

Retain Lyndale and change funding bands

The report states that it is unlikely that the funding bands will be reviewed until after the end of financial year 2014/15, which let’s face it by the time a review and consultation is undertaken on this, Lyndale could’ve been closed down. Even though the banding decision is a political one that politicians could change their minds (if they so wished) on at any time and a final decision on next year’s school budget has yet to be made. The independent report refers to the deficit, but many schools operate with a surplus or a deficit (they don’t get earmarked for closure though). As this is “no change” option, the SEN Improvement Test is met.

Retain Lyndale School and restrict places at Elleray Park and Stanley

The report author seems to be against this option on grounds of parental choice “Restriction of places at either of the schools will restrict parental choice. This may result in appeals by parents to the SEN Tribunal. Restriction of places also goes against Government policy which encourages the expansion of popular schools.”

Retain Lyndale School and extend to full range of CLD

The report author states that if Lyndale School took on children with CLD then these would be children they would receive less money for (per a child) than the children with PMLD which would worsen their financial situation rather than improve it.

Retain Lyndale School and school commits to take full range of CLD. Stanley and Elleray Park admissions kept to place numbers

This option also includes changing the funding bands for children at Lyndale. There aren’t any major quibbles the report author seems to have with this option and quotes statistics (based on July 2014 figures) of Stanley with 100 children and ninety places, Elleray Park has 94 children and 90 places. So both schools are currently oversubscribed based on their places.

It mentions that Stanley School could take as high as 120 children and once the building work at Elleray Park is completed in September 2015, that its capacity will increase to 110.

Option 7.2 Lyndale becomes a 2-19 school

The report author goes into detail as to this option, but points out that it could take about seven years for numbers to reach about fifty. The report author sees this as a “high risk option” as it would require capital investment in the school and run the risk of not working out. Four parts of the SEN Improvement test are quoted as not being met for this option. Although this is an option parents want, it seems highly unlikely this will happen.

7.3 Federate (hard or soft) with another school with Lyndale remaining on current site

There is nobody obvious that Lyndale would federate with and this option is ruled out as not meeting three of SEN Improvement Test requirements.

7.4 Co-locate Lyndale School with another special school (which also covers co-locate and federate with another special school)

As with 7.3 there’s no-one obvious that Lyndale would federate with, this option is looked at in detail and ruled out as not meeting three of the SEN Improvement Test requirements.

7.5 Lyndale becoming an Academy/Free School

Such a decision is for the Department for Education and parents, the report author still thinks that Lyndale will have problems with funding but cannot demonstrate how it would/wouldn’t meet the SEN Improvement Test.

7.6 Close Lyndale School. Open two SLD bases in Primary schools for 6/8 pupils each. Expand
Elleray Park and Stanley schools to 100 each

This has a number of sub options which are

Close Lyndale
Close Lyndale and open SLD bases in two primary schools
Close Lyndale, open SLD places in two primary schools and expand Elleray Park and Stanley to 100 each
Close Lyndale and open a PMLD base on the new Foxfield site

However this is ruled out as it doesn’t meet four of the requirements in the SEN Improvement Test.

7.7 Close Lyndale. Expand Stanley/Elleray Park schools to provide 220/230 places

This option also contains the option “Close Lyndale and expand either Stanley or Elleray Park”.

The report author considers the first option as meeting the SEN Improvement Test (however doesn’t go into much detail). The second option is considered to not meet the SEN Improvement Test because of parental choice grounds.

7.8 Close Lyndale School but retain the site making another school a split site school. The Lyndale site would be retained for as long as felt necessary

The suboptions are “until children currently at the school had left” and “until the receiving school no longer required it”.

This is ruled out as not meeting four of the requirements of the SEN Improvement Test.

So the options Cabinet will be considering next Thursday that aren’t ruled out as they breach the requirements of the SEN Improvement Test (which can be quite subjective but this is based on the report author’s opinion are):

Option 7.1 Retain Lyndale

This is further split into sub options such as retain Lyndale and change funding bands, retain Lyndale School and restrict places at Elleray Park and Stanley, retain Lyndale School and extend to full range of CLD and retain Lyndale School and school commits to take full range of CLD. Stanley and Elleray Park admissions kept to place numbers.

Option 7.5 Lyndale becoming an Academy/Free School

The author can’t say one way or the author as to whether this option breaches any of the requirements of the SEN Improvement Test.

Option 7.7 Close Lyndale. Expand Stanley/Elleray Park schools to provide 220/230 places

This is the option that people associated with Lyndale School don’t want. However if Cabinet chose this option it would trigger a further consultation and a future decision to be made following that consultation.

So therefore the three options that aren’t ruled out by in some way breaching the SEN Improvement Test (according to the report author) are:

1) various options on the theme of keeping Lyndale,
2) the Academy/Free School option (which depends on the Department for Education agreeing to it) or
3) closing Lyndale.

Wirral Council’s Cabinet will meet in Committee Room 1 at Wallasey Town Hall in Brighton Street, Seacombe starting at 6.15pm for a special meeting just to make a decision on Lyndale School (which will be a public meeting).

If you would like to contact the people who will be making the decision, contact details are below (although it is always possible that some of these people will not be able to make it to the meeting, however even if not present at the meeting they are bound by collective responsibility for decisions taken). Please note the addresses below are home addresses in case you want to write to them in advance of the meeting by post.

The papers for this meeting have been published on Wirral Council’s website and the consultation responses can be read here.

Councillor Phil Davies (he chairs the Cabinet meetings) phildavies@wirral.gov.uk/ 0151 625 3320 / 07720 073154 / 16 Westbourne Grove, West Kirby, Wirral, CH48 4DL

Cllr Ann McLachlan (she often chairs Cabinet meetings if Cllr Phil Davies is not available) annmclachlan@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 522 0299 / 27 Danefield Road, Greasby, CH49 3BP

Cllr George Davies georgedavies@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 653 4265 / 07713 644330 / 46 Shamrock Road, Claughton, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH41 0EQ

Cllr Adrian Jones adrianjones@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 638 9050 / 10 Elmswood Road, Seacombe, Wallasey, CH44 8DB

Cllr Chris Jones christinejones@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 638 9050 / 07853 042243 / 10 Elmswood Road, Seacombe, Wallasey, CH44 8DB

Cllr Chris Meaden chrismeaden@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 645 1729 / 07738 824130 / 19 Inglemere Road, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH42 4QL

Cllr Pat Hackett pathackett@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 638 1543 / 07771 972302 / 7 Wood Lane, Wallasey, Wirral, CH45 8QP

Cllr Tony Smith (he is the Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services whose portfolio Lyndale School falls under) tonysmith@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 677 1384 / 27 South Drive, Upton, Wirral, Merseyside, CH49 6LA

Cllr Bernie Mooney berniemooney@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 200 8089 / 07811 060891 / 30 Brompton Avenue, Liscard, Wallasey, Wirral, CH44 0BD

Cllr Stuart Whittingham stuartwhittingham@wirral.gov.uk / 0151 653 5539 / 16 Fender Way, Prenton, Birkenhead, Wirral, CH43 7ZJ

All of the above ten politicians are members of the Labour Party. If you wish to contact one of your three local councillors (assuming that you live on the Wirral) their contact details are here, but it will only be names listed above (assuming they can make it) who will be making the decision at the special Cabinet meeting about Lyndale School.

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The text of the emotional handwritten responses to the Lyndale School Closure Consultation

The text of the emotional handwritten responses to the Lyndale School Closure Consultation

The text of the emotional handwritten responses to the Lyndale School Closure Consultation

                                      

Phil Ward (Wirral Council's SEN Lead) at a later meeting of Wirral Schools Forum 2nd July 2014 (who chaired the consultation meeting at Acre Lane on the 16th June)

Phil Ward (Wirral Council’s SEN Lead) at a later meeting of Wirral Schools Forum 2nd July 2014 (who chaired the consultation meeting at Acre Lane on the 16th June and is referred to in some of the responses)

Further to the publication of the ninety responses to the Lyndale School closure consultation on this blog this morning, below is the typed text of the handwritten responses and one text response that is very hard to read because of poor contrast with the background.

The first is from pages 9-10 of the file marked Lyndale parents.

     Lyndale is a vital service to children with the most difficult lives.

     They can’t cope with moving schools, because for the most part their health is very fragile.

     I want to see a 2-19 facility at Lyndale School so that the children there can continue to receive the care they so desperately need. No other school on Wirral can provide this.

     See ‘Parents Response to the Lyndale Consultation Document’ for a further explanation of my views.

Name, address, telephone number and e-mail address is all blacked out apart from Wirral in the address field.

From Page 17 of the Lyndale parents file:

PLEASE SEE OUR SEPARATE SHEET ENCLOSED WITH OUR FEEDBACK COMMENTS. THANK YOU.

===========================================

These are from the file marked Lyndale others starting at page 3.

member of the friends of Lyndale School association

Having helped with fund raising and attended events at the Lyndale School I have always been impressed by the ‘can do’ attitude of the staff and the calm and the happy atmosphere of the school.

Because of the very special and complex needs of these children I do not believe and neither do their parents that these needs can be met at the other special schools on the Wirral. I feel that the welfare or even the lives of these children may be endangered.

I would ask the Council not to sacrifice these very special children for ???? ???? of financial criteria or rationalisation process that is not in their best interests.

Surely the mark of a civilised society is the way that they care for its most vulnerable members

Contact details blacked out apart from Wirral.

From page 27:

I write this as a grandparent to my 3 year old granddaughter who has PMLD. I have witnessed the amazing progress she has made since she began attending Lyndale School. She has clearly benefitted from the range of professional skills of the staff team based there.
It seems cruel to uproot her from the school to another of two schools which appear to be oversubscribed. It is also devastating for the parents of Lyndale School, whose lives are tough enough dealing with their childrens complex needs, to have to endure the uncertainty facing their childrens schooling.
Keep Lyndale School open to maintain a geographical spread and encourage more parents to send their children there, to benefit from all the outstanding resources on offer

Contact details blacked out apart from MERSEYSIDE in address field.

======================================
From Stanley others file (page 3)

Having read the consultation document, if both Elleray Park and Stanley have the capacity to offer an additional 40+ places, then ideally, the children from Lyndale should be offered these places.

This will only be an issue if the numbers of children requiring specialist provision increases within the borough.

(Other staff section from page 7 onwards)

Member of staff ticked “THE OBSERVATORY SCHOOL” written in Other.

Whilst I understand all the reasons for the closure of Lyndale School, I would hope the opinions and feelings of the parents and carers of the pupils attending the school are listened to sensitively and with genuine regard for them.

Personally, I have real affection for the Lyndale School but also acknowledge the amazing provision offered by Stanley and Elleray Park schools.

I would love to see all three schools continuing to provide for CLD/PMLD children but understand Elleray Park and Stanley School can provide for Wirral’s children and also understand the financial implications and issues. I am confident that the correct decision will be made and know that this consultation will be well supported. I wish Wirral Cabinet well in their decision-making process.

Name is blacked out. Address: THE OBSERVATORY SCHOOL, BIDSTON VILLAGE ROAD, BIDSTON, WIRRAL Postcode: CH43 7QT. Telephone and e-mail address blacked out.

Page 9 onwards

Other: HEADTEACHER BHSC

1. Logically keeping a small school open in an area where alternative provision is available of equal quality of provision is not a feasible option. I base this judgement on financial basis, community flexibility, breadth of staff experience, staff workload.

I agree that Lyndale should close and students reallocated.

2. I agree that any financial savings must be redirected into receiving schools to ensure no detriment to student provision.

3. Other options proposed:-

– Restricting places at Elleray + Stanley would lead to possible under occupancy and therefore no financial security

– 2-19 is an interesting option worth a feasibility study.
– Federation can lead to leadership issue and lack of focus for all schools in the federation including competing agendas – not feasible
– colocation is possible but why? when alt schools can accommodate demand
– Academy or free school does not alter the facts at present re student numbers or finance. If Lyndale improved to to this change there are only so many students to go around + the issues are only deflected into alt schools
– Additional places at Elleray + Stanley + closure of Lyndale is the most sensible option financially and educationally

Name blacked out Address: Bebington High Sports College Wirral Postcode CH63 2PS Telephone and e-mail address blacked out.

====================================
From the Others file starting at page 57:

I HAVE LISTENED TO THE DISCUSSIONS FOR AND AGAINST THE CLOSURE OF THE LYNDALE SCHOOL. TO PUT TO ONE SIDE THE EMOTIONAL ISSUES THAT THE THREATENED CLOSURE HAS CAUSED, IN MY VIEW THIS IS A MEDICAL POSITION. THE CHILDREN REQUIRE SUCH INTENSE ONE TO ONE ATTENTION THAT SOME HOW THE MONEY MUST BE FOUND, POSSIBLY JUSTIFIABLY INTO A 5TH BAND THEREBY QUALIFYING FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING. ANOTHER OPTION IS TO APPEAL TO THE D OF E FOR ADDITIONAL FUNDING DUE TO THE CHILDRENS’ VULNERABILITY. SURELY THERE MUST BE A MORE HUMAN APPROACH TO CARE FOR THE ELDERLY AND VULNERABLE IN OUR SOCIETY TODAY RATHER THAN BASE THEIR NEEDS ON CALCULATIONS.

This is not a handwritten response but is very hard to read due to a lack of contrast with the background (from page 59 of the other responses):

Dear Councillor

I am writing to tell you how worried I am about the possibility that the Lyndale School in Eastham may close. This is because the children at the school are very vulnerable and need to be with people they know well. Their fragile health means they will not be able to cope with losing all that they know and adjusting to a new environment.

The staff at The Lyndale School have years of experience, knowledge and expertise in caring for and educating children with a very high level of special needs. They create a very special environment where each child is valued and given the support they need to enjoy a good quality of life and achieve their potential. Parents feels that no other school on Wirral can provide the same safe and caring environment.

The children who attend Lyndale have many challenges to face in their everyday lives and their families are there alongside them. But this threat of the Lyndale closure is a challenge too ??? and many of the families are feeling under great strain at this time, worrying about having to send their children to schools that they know won’t be suitable for them.

The Lyndale School provides a service that is really needed both now and to future generations. It supports and gives hope to children and their families through some of the most difficult times in their lives. Will you please pledge to support the school and prevent its loss as a valuable asset in our community.

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UPDATED: EXCLUSIVE: 90 Incredible Lyndale School Closure Consultation Responses

EXCLUSIVE: 90 Incredible Lyndale School Closure Consultation Responses

EXCLUSIVE: 90 Incredible Lyndale School Closure Consultation Responses

                             

Phil Ward (Wirral Council's SEN Lead) at a later meeting of Wirral Schools Forum 2nd July 2014 (who chaired the consultation meeting at Acre Lane on the 16th June)

Phil Ward (Wirral Council’s SEN Lead) at a later meeting of Wirral Schools Forum 2nd July 2014 (who chaired the consultation meeting at Acre Lane on the 16th June and is referred to in some of the responses)

It’s not often there’s a “stop the presses” moment here or as this is an online publication “stop the electrons” moment. Yesterday I had planned to write about the Hoylake RNLI Open Day today.

Many moons ago (on the 29th June 2014) I made a Freedom of Information Act request for the consultation responses to the consultation about closing Lyndale School. Rather predictably the answer from Wirral Council on 29th July was “no”, we’re going to publish these in the future.

On July 14th, this blog published the Lyndale parents’ response to the consultation, on 30th July a response from some parents of a child at Stanley School and on August 12th Cllr Phil Gilchrist’s response.

The Green Party also published their response on their website.

However this was just four responses out of ninety that were known about. I was always curious about what the other eighty-six were! The following documents should show this. Sadly Wirral Council has taken it upon itself to black out a lot of the detail such as who the responses are from, however the other details can allow you to guess at who some of the names are. Apologies over some parts being hard to read, I think as part of the redaction some quality has been lost and a few are handwritten responses. I’ll try my best to type up some of the harder to read sections.

Wirral Council will be publishing these responses as part of the Cabinet papers by Thursday. UPDATE: Wirral Council will now not be publishing the consultation responses as part of the Cabinet papers. Apologies for this, in previous consultations they had published the consultation responses with the papers for those making the decision and Wirral Council had stated they would publish the responses but seemingly either changed their mind or lied. The responses are split by which category they came from into ten files and provide an interesting insight as to what was going on behind the scenes both during the consultation and as far back as the call in meeting. The way the consultation meetings were conducted comes in for criticism, so does the claim in the consultation documents that staff would be redeployed.

Elleray others (4 pages)

Elleray parents (6 pages)

Lyndale governors (16 pages)

Lyndale others (36 pages)

Lyndale parents (100 pages)

Lyndale staff (22 pages)

Other governors (4 pages)

Others (96 pages)

Stanley others (10 pages)

Stanley parents (10 pages)

UPDATE The text of the handwritten responses (some of which can be hard to read) and one typed response which has poor contrast with the background making it hard to read can be read here.

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Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: Julia Hassall “we’re not having straightforward consultation” (part 10)

Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: Julia Hassall “we’re not having straightforward consultation” (part 10)

Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: Julia Hassall “we’re not having straightforward consultation” (part 10)

                                                 

Phil Ward (Wirral Council's SEN Lead) at a later meeting of Wirral Schools Forum 2nd July 2014 (who chaired the consultation meeting at Acre Lane on the 16th June)
Phil Ward (Wirral Council’s SEN Lead) at a later meeting of Wirral Schools Forum 2nd July 2014 (who chaired the consultation meeting at Acre Lane on the 16th June)

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Lyndale School Closure Consultation Meeting 16th June 2014 (Audio only)

Continues from Lyndale School Consultation Meeting: Cllr Dave Mitchell “They need the care they’ve got!” (part 9).

This transcript below starts at 1:05:50 in the video above.

DAVID ARMSTRONG (ASSISTANT CHIEF EXECUTIVE)
Just before we get to it, just before we get to it, I’ll just make the point about you’ll know there a number of people sitting here who will know we’re having discussions about Elleray Park and Stanley …(unclear)… and more recently we’ve been having discussions about Foxfield based on comments that have been made towards us.

Subsequently and clearly I’ve got to talk about the nature around the Wallasey School, but what was referred to was Wallasey School is currently based at an outpost base where inevitably …(unclear)… similar …(unclear)… some space …(unclear)… and I think that’s a very short-term arrangement, so it’s nothing at all to do with the Lyndale School.

TOM HARNEY (CHAIR OF GOVERNORS)
Well thanks for that point about a shared site.

JULIA HASSALL (DIRECTOR OF CHILDRENS’ SERVICES)
Can I just come back to the point the gentleman made at the back you know? I’ll come back in a minute on what Alison McGovern said. You’ve said why haven’t we got parents at the front telling?

GENTLEMAN AT BACK
I said there’s, I don’t want to object, but whether it was legal.

JULIA HASSALL (DIRECTOR OF CHILDRENS’ SERVICES)
and I had a meeting with the Chief Executive of the Council, Graham Burgess. There were three parent governors, two of whom are here tonight and they said to Graham Burgess and myself, it feels like we’re not having straightforward consultation about some of these issues. We don’t know err what you’re doing to investigate the other eight options along with the other proposals that have come forward and what we have done and what Alison McGovern also said was I think, was is there something about, can you recreate Lyndale ethos in a different setting? Can you explore that and so we’ve had one meeting so far, we’ve got another meeting on Friday, to try and have a different kind of conversation about how we explore all the different options because I think the gentleman here raised the point when we were at the Floral Pavilion, it feels like when we have these meetings sometimes you can, questions from the floor, we know we kind of almost it feels like defend the position, whereas you can with smaller groups sometimes saying you can have a different kind of conversation but we’re doing that in tandem with these meetings to try and flush out all the different options and look at them in real detail.

GENTLEMAN FROM AUDIENCE
OK, well can I just say that the replication of Lyndale and that’s what I want to talk about. Lyndale even though we knew at the beginning of the year and it’s fully documented, it says many of the children have had PMLD [profound and multiple learning disabilities], it’s the actual, it’s the vast majority, it’s almost all the children.

JULIA HASSALL (DIRECTOR OF CHILDRENS’ SERVICES)
It is.

GENTLEMAN FROM AUDIENCE
So, the reason why Lyndale is so effective in that area is because it’s a small, lovely school and it does feel like, it does feel like a home and people say …(unclear)… 0.1%, it’s the very most vulnerable of our children. So they are all, this facility actually caters for them because they are vulnerable, they are vulnerable to other more boisterous children in care.

They need more responsible adult care, they are in the absolute …(unclear)… in this Borough and the reason why I’ve gone round approaching all those businesses, is because one hundred percent of the people think that that 0.1% of our most vulnerable children should be the …(unclear)… number one priority on everybody’s agenda and everything else should come second to this.

He received a round of applause for what he had said.

1:09:00

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