Support schools, don't shut them

14th April 2006 at 01:00
The PAT is very concerned about new powers to shut "failing" schools in the new education Bill ("Bill could shut 95 failing schools", TES, March 31).

As your article shows it can take much longer than 12 months to turn a school around.

Closing a school is also enormously disruptive and dispiriting for students and staff. Firm action is needed to address "failure", but struggling schools need support and resources, not closure. They need the collaborative efforts of the local community and local and national government to turn them around.

MPs should think again before granting ministers such excessive and harmful powers.

Deborah Simpson

Principal professional officer

Professional Association of Teachers

St James' Court

Friar Gate, Derby

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