rory urges council to listen to parents in primary school debate

Rory has issued a statement in relation to the ongoing consultation at High Hesket and Armathwaite primary schools, and will attempt to broker a better level of communication between parents, teachers and local authority representatives.

He said: “Having met with a number of parents and teachers in the past weeks I can see that this is a highly emotive issue that is causing a good deal of distress to affected families. I am very sorry for that. Perhaps the consultation has been carried out too quickly, and without due consideration for the feelings of parents with children at High Hesket – and indeed for the feelings of the children themselves. I agree in principle that converting schools to all-through primary school is a good idea (and seems on the basis of national research to have good results for the children). If there were a sensitive, long-term transition plan in place which addresses children’s needs, I fully support the Armathwaite conversion. But I am very much concerned that parents receive a clearer idea of the funding and transition arrangements in place, and the potential impact of these on their children in the coming months. I will be requesting from the Council some commitment to support parents and teachers during the transition period. High Hesket needs much more certainty, information and support if this is to be managed properly. “

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