Posted: March 6, 2003
Before the Labour government got elected in 1997 they said their priorities wee “Education, Education, Education.” Hackney Labour’s current targets are “Laburnum, Kingsland, St Thomas’ ” – the three schools they want to close this year. Hackney IWCA (Hackney Independent as of summer 2004) members have started working with parents from St Thomas’ Primary in Stamford Hill to help them fight the closure. We have given them our advice based on the campaign to save Laburnum School and have produced a petition for them, which you are urged to fill in and return to the address given. To get a copy of the petition, write to us at the usual address and we will send you one. The Hackney Independent will help parents produce a newsletter to circulate in the area and a campaign video.
The Learning Trust are only going through the motions of consultation over St Thomas’ because they have to legally. Our view is that councillors of all parties should be challenged to support the school, but that parents need to build the strongest possible campaign in the community in defence of the school. If councillors don’t support the campaign, particularly Labour councillors as they are in power, then community groups need to consider moving beyond lobbying them to a position of replacing them – of standing against them in future elections. The campaign needs to look at all the other public and community facilities that are under threat in this borough and make links with those campaigns. Everyone involved needs to understand that closure of these schools is part of the the wider agenda of privatisation of services and gentrification of the Borough supported by all the main parties – replacing the working class with a new population of middle class settlers.