On Saturday 7 August, I had the following letter published in the Hull Daily Mail:
The news that Hull City Council intends to go ahead and attempt to build a new school academy in West Hull, defies all logic. Although Endeavour High School has been beset with problems almost from the start, its buildings are only a few years old and could easily accommodate a new academy. Instead, the council - through the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme - is intent on getting its hands on millions of pounds of our money to build a new school when other services will be facing cuts.
Elsewhere in the city, despite huge public opposition, BSF intends to rob residents of the Princess Elizabeth Playing Fields by building the new Northern Academy. Other sites were available, but thanks to bureaucratic red tape and sheer belligerence, they have been bypassed. It does make you wonder when our elected representatives will listen to the people who elect them? We all want the best education possible for our children, but this does not necessarily mean we need new buildings. It is what goes on in the classroom that matters. Instead of throwing money at the problem, why don't we start getting the basics right? Angering the public and building schools that aren't needed is not the way forward.
A fresh campaign has already started in North Hull. Residents are once again collecting signatures and writing letters in an attempt to get the council and the government to see sense, and build the academy in a better location. If you agree with them, please write to the press and voice your concerns. Outline planning permission has already been granted, but a strong campaign can still halt the building work.
The same goes for the building of the proposed new academy in West Hull. Write to the Hull Daily Mail or the Yorkshire Post, and voice your concerns. You can also write to Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, and tell him what you think. If the government really does believe in listening to us, this is a good way to test the water.
The West Hull Academy can easily be housed in existing buildings. The Northern Academy can easily be built in places other than playing fields that are well used by local people. We can’t do it alone. Please help in the campaign.