Update from the Save Laburnum School Campaign

Hackney Council say that they are now consulting us on whether Laburnum School should be closed. If they are listening, there’s a clear answer – the kids, parents and the wider community are saying KEEP LABURNUM SCHOOL OPEN.


The Council say that half the kids can go to Randal Cremer and the other half can go to a new junior school at Queensbridge. We say we want to keep this school at the heart of this community. And it is an improving school with a new head, new computer room, new science room, new funds to improve the playground and to put in security cameras. And after all this hard work – now Hackney Council wants to close it down.


The Council have said that if they close the school they will try to put a new secondary school there, and if that doesn’t work they will sell the site. We are no fools. We know that it is too small for a secondary school. And that leaves the plan like it always was – to sell the school site to developers.


What are the Council trying to teach our kids? That their education doesn’t matter. That the can be pushed out so that City people can have their loft apartments where they used to have their classrooms? We are trying to teach our kids something different – that you have to work together to stand up for your community and fight to keep the school open.


The Council “consultation” period runs up to 30th September. Lets give them their consultation. Lets make sure that our councillors know what a mistake it would be for them to close Laburnum School.


Council consultation farce


All parents/carers with children at Primary Schools anywhere in Hoxton, Haggerston, De Beauvoir or London Fields should have got a letter from the Council in early August headed “Review of Planning Areas 1 & 2.” You wouldn’t know it, but this is the official Council consultation on closing Laburnum School. This is despite the fact that the word “Laburnum” or even “school” does not appear anywhere in the letter.


It is important that you do not throw it away, but that you turn to page 4, which is a survey. The questions are hard to work out – such as “Do you agree that the LEA should bring forward proposals to reduce surplus capacity?” The Save Laburum School Campaign recommends that you vote “no” to all the questions. The vital question is 3, which asks if you agree with closing Laburnum. To help save the school, please tear out the form and send it back to Marian Lavelle, Hackney TLC, 1 Reading lane, E8 1GQ. If you did not get the letter, we can get you a copy if you ring Carl Taylor on 7684 1743. The Council have agreed to spend £750 on “consultation.” As far as we know sending out this letter is all they are going to do. Compare this to the consultation on the sell-off of the nearby Haggerston East, Whitmore and part of Kingsland estate. Here the Council threw (our) money at the tenants – with videos, glossy brochures, “independent” advisers, fun days – but the difference is that the tenants legally have to get a vote and so need to be persuaded – but Laburnum parents and the wider community do not.


But our kids don’t go to Laburnum …


We are asking for support from everyone in the community – even if you are not directly affected. If you have got kids or grandkids at another school – their school could be next.


And we all need to stand up for what we have got in this community. Haggerston used to have a library and a swimming pool. It’s not just Laburnum School that is under threat – there’s our One O’clock Club in Haggerston Park and the Apples and Pears Adventure Playground. They need our support too. We have all got to support each and every campaign to defend community facilities in Haggerston.


What is the Save Laburnum School Campaign?


A meeting for parents and other supporters of the school was held on July 11th. This meeting elected 10 people to keep the campaign running over the Summer holidays and to plan the campaign for when school starts again. The Committee has six parents – a majority. The other members are Shaun Abrahams, who is the union representative for the Laburnum teachers, Peter Sutton and Carl Taylor from Hackney Independent and Sheila Dadpour from Kingsland Estate Tenants & Residents’ Association. The Committee meets every Tuesday at 5pm at 75 Hebden Court, Laburnum Street. This is the Kingsland Estate Community Flat and is kindly lent to us by the Kingsland Estate TRA. Anyone else who wants to support the campaign is welcome to come along on any Tuesday.


Saturday 31st August – Save Laburnum Day


Haggerston Community Centre, Haggerston Road. 11.30am – 2.00pm We are asking all supporters to drop-in and give your support to the school on this day. There will be a number of different activities going on:


A chance to sign letters and postcards to send to the Council
For children aged 5-11 there will be an art session led by local artist and former Laburnum School student Lee Dadpour. Lee will be working with the children to produce posters and banners calling for the school to stay open.
A local film-maker will be carrying out quick interviews with people on camera to produce a video, which we will send to all councillors.
There will be tea, coffee and other refreshments available.
Pick up campaign materials like postcards, posters and petitions and find out more about how you can support the campaign Save Laburnum Day. Saturday August 31st. 11.30am – 2.00pm. Haggerston Community Centre, Haggerston Road.

This information is produced by the Save Laburnum School Campaign and does not claim to represent the School itself or the School Governors.


To contact the Save Laburnum School Campaign please ring Carl Taylor on 7684 1743, or write to 75 Hebden Court, Laburnum Street E2.