I also have a duty to children at other local schools

Contributed by editor on May 11, 2006 - 07:11 PM


Dear Ed,

Re: Allegiance should be with that of your constituents

I'm sorry, I should have made my position clearer.  I will not be at the Public Meeting o­n 22 May as the County Councillors for the Shepway area are at a public meeting that evening in St Mary's Bay Village Hall for a meeting about climate change and coastal flooding. 

The public meeting in Selsted was set up without reference to my commitments and, as the notice for the meeting said I had been asked, I wished to make it clear in advance that I will not be there but will be at the KCC meeting in June if there is a decision to go out for public consultation.

I quite accept that Selsted serves Swingfield, Wooten, Denton, Densole and Swingfield Street but even adding these brings the total of families served within a two mile radius to barely double figures.  Selsted has places for 105 children but o­nly 70 children at the school.  The situation is unlikely to improve which is why KCC is considering a consultation o­n closure.

The government funds education per child so if a school has less pupils they have less money to spend o­n education.  This problem affects the whole area and is the reason why we need to close or amalgamate some schools.  Selsted school has o­ne of the highest level of empty places in the district which is o­ne of the reasons it is being considered.  If the school were full we would not need to look at the option of closure.

It would be easy for me to join a campaign to save our school but hardly honest when the case for consultation o­n closure is so strong.  I will certainly put the views of local parents to the Schools Organisation Advisory Board but I also have a duty to the children in the other schools in our area who would be strengthened by the addition of Selsted's pupils.

Susan Carey
Kent County Councillor