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Parents in Lewisham Occupy School Roof
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lillam


Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #1
07-05-2009 05:15 PM

The spirit of the Glasgow school occupation and the Visteon workers has spread and parents in a primary school in Lewisham have occupied the school roof in protest at its closure. Lewisham Bridge Primary School is a thriving community school, recently given a Grade II listing by English Heritage who have described it as having "special architectural and historic interest".

City based livery company Leathersellers wish to knock down the school and convert it into a Foundation School, something long objected to by many residents, but strongly supported by Lewisham Council.

Anger spilled over when parents began being forced to bus their children to another school over one and a half miles away whilst this historic building stands empty.




Leathersellers have already stated that they have no wish to have a Travellers Education Service at the school, despite a large Traveller site nearby and also have no plans to incorporate a Special Needs Unit into the school.

The occupiers have stated they will remain as long as is necessary and a public meeting yesterday attracted much support. Workers involved with the recent Visteon Factory Occupation in Enfield have also been down and spent time on the roof in solidarity.

Parents have asked anyone in support to come down and show solidarity and if possible to do a shift on the roof.

The details are on this facebook group and the background is on this blog. Messages of support can be put on the facebook group or sent to handsofflewishambridge@yahoo.co.uk

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #2
07-05-2009 06:29 PM

Seem to be on the roof on a portacabin not the actual school building.
I can symphasise that they want a school near their home.
Not sure what you mean about Travellers, but by their nature and their name implies they travel so would only be at the school a short period.
I do not know the full facts , maybe the new school will be an improvement , but as I said junior and infants should attend schools in easy walking distance.

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Sherwood


Posts: 1,411
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #3
07-05-2009 09:20 PM

Lewisham travellers site is nearby. If some travel away, others take their place.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #4
08-05-2009 11:03 AM

Not sure children can expect to learn much if constantly moved from school to school

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #5
14-05-2009 11:29 AM

My understanding a new school was to be built to replace the old school and in addition provide a secondary school for the pupils of Lewisham Bridge to attend.

The plan is/was to bus the children to another site for 2-3 years to another another site while the new school was built. This has been happening to a number of schools across the borough over the past 5 years as schools have been refurbed or rebuilt.

A new travellers site is being constructed at the former site of Watergate School, in Ladywell.

The 2007 OFSTED report for the school begins....

Quote:
This is a larger than average primary school. The school serves an area of social disadvantage and the proportion of pupils who join and leave other than at the normal starting and leaving points is high.


Overall the school had a Satisfactory Grade 3 rating .

For Personal development and well-being the school was said to be Outsanding with a Grade 1 rating.

For Quality of provision of Teaching and learning the school was Satifactory (Grade 3) but indicate not all lessons met that grade, the next grade down is Inadequate (Grade 4).

The new school would be taken under the wing of Prendegast School which has an excellent reputation and is oversubscribed to the tune of 10 applicants for each place.

It would appear parents don't want anything to do with Prendegast, I would have thought they'ed jump at the chance?

The NUT seems to slag of the Local Education Authority but wants Lewisham Bridge to remain as part of that system.

Then there are the usual suspects who see it as part of their class war to create the next generation of the underclass.

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Perryman


Posts: 820
Joined: Dec 2006
Post: #6
14-05-2009 12:17 PM

The whole point of foundation schools is to control the arrangements for admitting pupils imo. This is the easiest and cheapest way to improve standards.

Any parents from a disadvantaged background are right to be concerned that their children will not be (re)admitted to their local school here.

I'd be interested why Lewisham are in favour of this.

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lillam


Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #7
24-06-2009 10:49 AM

An eviction notice has been served on the occupation at Lewisham Bridge.

Bailiffs are arriving at 10.30 on Wednesday morning.

Hands Off Lewisham Bridge are asking for your support in resisting the eviction. We need as many people as possible to stay overnight on Tuesday.
If you can't stay overnight then please come down as early as possible on Wednesday morning to support the occupation.

We want to let Lewisham Council know that they are evicting people who have been peacefully protesting over the destruction of community education at our school.

Lewisham Council still don't have planning permission for their new school.
Lewisham Council still haven't told us why the decant had to take place at Easter, when children were taking SATs and banding tests. Lewisham Council still haven't told us why they are prepared to wash their hands of the responsibility of educating our children.

If Lewisham Bridge Primary School is given to Leathersellers we parents will have no say in the governance of our school. Staff will be employed by Leathersellers who will set their own terms and conditions taking those teachers out of a collective national teaching body.

This is privatisation! This is bringing the market into our kids'
education,
where the only motivation is profit and the only measure is league tables and headcount. Competition will be the name of the game. Trusts and academies will compete for those children they believe to be desirable and leave those whom they don't on the scrapheap. Why have Prendergast rejected the Travellers Education Service that used to be based at the school? Why have Prendergast rejected the proposal to establish a SEN unit at the new school?

A consultation process has already started for a trust led by Goldsmiths University which will govern 3 schools: Addey & Stanhope, Deptford Green and Crossways. It is a process that has exactly the same goal. To take our schools out of the public sector and hand them over to the private sector.

We cannot let them get away with this. We can fight this together and we can win!

Come down to Lewisham Bridge Primary School and let the bailiffs know that we're not going easily.

Hands Off Lewisham Bridge

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lillam


Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #8
28-06-2009 01:51 AM

an update on this:

Eviction Resisted at Lewisham Bridge School


Quote:
Up to 100 people gathered at the occupied Lewisham Bridge School this morning (Thursday 25 June 2009) to stop today?s eviction scheduled for 10:30am. A youthful and lively contingent joined local parents on the roof whilst local supporters gathered outside the front of the school. The mood remained positive, despite a strong police presence including a helicopter earlier in the day.

Bailiffs entered the school but made no attempt to gain access to the roof where the tents stayed up and the occupation continued. Police left at around 12:30 with most of the bailiffs leaving shortly after. Although a couple of bailiffs did remain, it seems that for now the occupation continues.
http://london.indymedia.org.uk/articles/1677


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lillam


Posts: 129
Joined: Apr 2006
Post: #9
01-10-2009 06:54 AM

They won!

Quote:
On Thursday 30th July Ben Bradshaw?s (secretary of State at the Department of Culture Media and Sport) secretary called Hands Off Lewisham Bridge with ?a very important message?; that the English Heritage Grade II listing awarded to Lewisham Bridge Primary School remains in place.

This is a great victory for the campaign as it means that Lewisham Council must return the children and staff to the school in September as Chris Threlfall promised. We expect the return to school should not subject to any delay that will cause staff and parents further disruption. For example we understand that the school kitchen needs to be refurbished as parts of it were dismantled for the move to the Mornington Centre. So we expect any necessary works to start as soon as possible (cleaning, refurbishment of the kitchen and health and safety checks)

On April 23rd three parents climbed on the roof of the school to protest about the way parents children and staff have been treated in the entire process to attempt to privatise our school which culminated in the decant to the Mornington Centre against the wishes of the majority of parents and the local community.

Support for the protest grew quickly and by 9am that morning 4 more parents had joined us on the roof and a number of supporters stayed on the ground gathering signatures for our petition. The following day we were visited by 6 workers from the Visteon factory in Enfield who spoke at the launch meeting of Hands Off Lewisham Bridge. A week later we were visited by 6 Visteon workers from Belfast who invited us to march with them in Belfast on the Mayday rally.

The occupation of Lewisham Bridge was inspired by the courageous action taken by the Visteon workers and the parents from Save Our Schools Glasgow. Other similar actions have since taken place such as the occupation at SOAS in protest at the sacking and deportation of some of the cleaners at the university. Most recently is the occupation of the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight .

Hands Off Lewisham Bridge wants to thanks all those who have sent us messages of sport and donations, to all those who have joined us at various points in the occupation and who have spoken on our behalf at rallies and demos around the country.

The Lewisham Bridge victory sends a message to those in struggle (those who are against the Goldsmiths Trust in Lewisham, parents in Barrow in Furness, the campaign to save Hesketh Fletcher in Wigan) that direct action works. It is a bold step which shows that if we stand up and fight we can win. What we must do now is build on this victory and stand up together. This is a fight against privatisation and the selling off of public services; it?s a fight against redundancies and the selling off of our jobs. It?s a national fight and with our victory we send a message of solidarity to the workers in the Vestas occupation.
Stand up and fight - do it together and we can win!

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #10
09-10-2009 09:32 AM

^^^What a load of tosh.

It isn't some class struggle it's about the education of children which this campaign has set back by years for political reasons.

The parents of these children originally complained they were being transferred at a time of the all important SATs, yet a prominent member of the campaign is totally opposed to SATs and wanted his union to strike over the matter.

Some of the leading campaigners agreed just a few years ago to the use of the Lewisham Bridge site (ie its demolition) but because they are not elected can get away with their 180 degree spin.

Since 2002 many of the campaigners have screamed and shouted the borough needs an additional Secondary school, how has the success of this campaign improved the chances of the kids at Lewisham Bridge of finding a secondary school place?

The campaigners have not thought this through, the council hasn't the funds to build a community secondary school.

Next year there may be a hung parliament or a conservative government whilst this country is billions if not trillions of pounds in debt. What do the campaigners think the attitude of a government in that scenario is likely to be to the campaigners demands?

All this roof top demo has done is allow a politically motivated group to p*** from on high apon the children of Lewisham Bridge.

Congratulations.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #11
09-10-2009 02:19 PM

I am not in favour of breaking the law and also the Police having to spend time on this when they should be arresting criminals.

Not sure of the wrongs and rights but if everyone took such action on every council decision would be chaos.

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michael


Posts: 3,251
Joined: Mar 2005
Post: #12
09-10-2009 03:18 PM

It was not saved by the occupation, it was saved by getting it listed by English Heritage (perfectly legal means).

But Lewisham Council do not mind people breaking the law. In the case of the climate camp the council passed a motion on 24th September congratulating the Camp for Climate Action (which was an illegal camp and erection of structures on Blackheath) and commending the highly professional, efficient and responsible level of organisation of all aspects of the camp (despite the fact that they refused to inform the council or police of their intentions).

So baliffs for one group and praise for another. When the council take this attitude surely the result will be chaos. The motion had cross-party backing despite a few councillors raising concerns about the precedent they were setting.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #13
09-10-2009 03:27 PM

Michael
I agree the council should obey the law otherwise chaos.

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junegapi


Posts: 106
Joined: Nov 2007
Post: #14
12-10-2009 04:36 PM

Is this the same body of folk who listed Louise House? What will happen there? Probably nothing for some time. There seems to be an attitude that says 'we don't like what the burocrats are doing, so let's get the place listed, regardless how ordinary it is'.

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ForestGump


Posts: 202
Joined: Jan 2008
Post: #15
21-10-2009 08:12 AM

Will the protestors be back on the roof?

It's reported Year 7 pupils that would have gone to the new school will now spend their first year at Prendergast Ladywell Fields, the type of school the protestors oppose.

Also it's now been discovered Lewisham Bridge School contains asbestos so the pupils return to the site will be delayed.

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brian


Posts: 2,002
Joined: Apr 2005
Post: #16
21-10-2009 01:54 PM

As the asbestos would presumably not have been discovered without the illegal occupation I suggest the costs be levied on the protesters.

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