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(Gillas Lane Action to Support School)

Newsletter - Issue No. 2
Latest News Officers’ Recommendations

The next important event is the Cabinet meeting at “(To) seek approval for the publication of a statu-
2.00pm on Wednesday, 8 April 2009 at the Civic tory notice (for closure) in relation to Gillas Lane
Centre in Sunderland. Primary School.”

The latest report on school place planning will be This is disappointing but not unexpected that offic-
presented at this meeting. It contains all the results ers have made the recommendation to close the
of the written responses to the consultation exer- school. But ...Don’t despair!
cise, the four formal complaints from parents and
carers, the notes of the Children’s Services Review This may seem like the end of the road for the
committee containing the issues raised by your rep- campaign but there are still many options open to
resentatives, the notes of the latest consultation us - legal and otherwise - to continue and win the
meeting at Gillas Lane school on the 23 February fight.
2009 and the petition presented to the last council
meeting with 1602 names. The Cabinet have yet to make their decision. If
they read the appendices thoroughly then they
This meeting will make a decision about the school’s will see the depth of feeling in Gillas Lane. Over
future so it is a very important meeting. As it is a 200 responses to the consultation were received,
public meeting anyone can attend although they will many more than those received for the three Het-
not be able to say anything. ton schools affected.

Members of GLASS will be in attendance but more To legally close the school the Council must go
support will be appreciated. through a process which is defined by law and gives
a further right for people affected to voice their
opinions and objections. If we get to this stage we
will explain how we intend to extend the campaign.
Let’s hope that the Cabinet injects some sense into
proceedings before we get to this stage.

Formal Complaints
Children’s Services have written to the parents and
carers who put these complaints to the council
saying they are “inappropriate” and are being
treated as responses to the consultation exercise.

The complainants and GLASS are fighting this inter-

pretation and have written to the Local Govern-
ment Ombudsman to seek his advice on this matter.

These complaints are genuine and legitimate and

the complainants are being denied their rights to
the council’s formal complaints system.
(Gillas Lane Action to Support School)
Newsletter - Issue No. 2
MP Action Sunderland Echo Support
Local MP, Fraser Kemp, has indicated that he will be
making representations to Sunderland City Council on You will have noticed several articles in the Echo
our behalf. about the campaign one of the recent ones being
an article concerning the pupils’ letters of support
for the school.
Petition to Council
Many thanks to the Echo!
At the last Sunderland City Council meeting the peti-
tion to save Gillas Lane School was read out and
presented by local ward councillor, Colin Wakefield.

We managed to achieve 1602 signatures on the peti-

tion so many thanks to those who signed and those
who got the signatures. A truly great effort.

This should be included as part of the school place

planning report to Cabinet and we should have a
separate response to this at the next council meeting.

Letter to Secretary of State

We have written to the Secretary of State for Children,
Schools and Families, Ed Balls, directly to tell him Other Action
what is happening here.
· Another formal complaint has been sub-
We have emphasised the fact that parents’ views are mitted about the council not following the
being ignored in this process, that parental choice is statutory code of guidance on closing the
being denied and that there are serious concerns about school
the consultation and decision making. · Facebook now has 286 supporters of the
Save Gillas Lane School campaign
We are currently awaiting a response from his office. · Ward councillors have raised the matter
with the Leader of the Council, the Direc-
tor of Children’s Services and other mem-
10 Downing Street Petition
bers of the council
· Surveys are continuing to get your views
Currently there are 143 names on this online petition. on the consultation process
If we can get 200 signatories this will then receive a · GLASS is preparing a portfolio of evidence
response from the Prime Minister’s office. for any future proceedings
If you haven’t already signed up online then please do
so via the web site below. There is still time to make