EXCLUSIVE: There were angry scenes at yesterday’s meeting arranged by the parents and carers of pupils at Bamburgh School to discuss the closure of five special schools.
The meeting was held at South Tyneside District Hospital’s social club in Harton Lane and organisers had invited councillor Ernest Gibson to attend the meeting to outline more details about the proposals and to answer questions.
Councillor Gibson, who chaired the Scrutiny Commission on the Review of Special Educational Needs Provision agreed to attend and asked for the invitation to be extended to Councillor Jim Foreman, the cabinet member responsible for children and young people – the organisers agreed.
Parents, carers and teachers were dismayed and tempers flared as both councillors Gibson and Foreman failed to turn up to the meeting. One of the organisers called councillor Gibson who said that he couldn’t find the venue so wouldn’t be attending the meeting.
Organisers were also angry that Horsley Hill Labour councillors, Iain Malcolm – Miss Piggy and Eileen Leask – Vodka Lil – failed to turn up given that Bamburgh School is in their ward.
A number of parents and teachers addressed the meeting to express their anger at the contempt shown to both parents and pupils and the complacent attitude of the ruling Labour group. One speaker suggested that it was time to make some form of real protest that would make the council stand up and take notice.
Organisers concluded the meeting by asking Gordon Finch, the Independent Alliance councillor for Horsley Hill to address the meeting.