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Parents rally to save their special' school

PUBLISHED: 09:44 22 January 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 25 August 2010

PROTEST: Children and parents protesting outside the school on Monday.

PROTEST: Children and parents protesting outside the school on Monday.

PARENTS and pupils picketed outside a special measures primary school in protest at its planned closure.

PARENTS and pupils picketed outside a 'special measures' primary school in protest at its planned closure.

Greenwich council bosses have threatened to close the Charlotte Turner Primary School in Banbow Lane, Deptford, after the school failed its latest OFSTED inspection last November.

A council meeting on Tuesday decided to go ahead with a consultation on the school's future until March 11.

But staff at the school, that caters for more than 200 children, half of whom have special needs or a disability, are said to be working hard to improve attainment.

Mother-of-four Kim Bozek, 41, of Henrietta Close, Deptford, said parents call the headteacher Ann Mills 'superwoman' as she often goes into classrooms to teach if the school is short-staffed.

The former community care worker said: "The school uses a lot of support staff. She gives up her job when there is a shortage.

"The council should give us a chance to prove ourselves.

"Staff and parents have put so much time and effort into this school."

Mrs Bozek, who currently has three children at the school, all with special needs, said she is scared the closure would result in her children being separated.

She said: "We have 238 children in that school and if it closes where are they going to go?

"People are going to travel further out and they may not be able to get all their children in one school.

"There is a massive recession on at the moment.

"People aren't going to have the money or time to travel further out."

Inspectors said the school had not taken 'effective steps' since their last two-day inspection in April 2005.

A spokesman for Greenwich council said: “Despite additional support provided to Charlotte Turner School over some time, standards have not improved to even a satisfactory level. The council therefore issued the school with a Notice to Improve in the autumn.

“Our concerns have been shared by Ofsted, who, following a recent inspection confirmed our view that the school is failing to give its pupils an acceptable standard of education. Ofsted has placed the school under special measures. A finding of special measures is a very serious judgement, which requires local authorities to consider a range of options, up to and including closure.

“A period of consultation will now take place, involving parents, school staff and the wider local community. It will be an opportunity for everyone involved to give their views which the Council will then consider.”

marina.soteriou@archant.co.uk

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