Worrying breakdown in local services

I have never experienced such a breakdown in local services.

  1. Our local secondary school, Raine’s Foundation is under threat of closure
  2. 2. Our local GP, The Mission Practise is refusing* to give patients appointments.
  3. The London Chest Hospital was closed some time ago.

Taking this as a sign of a reduction in local services, residents should be concerned and make enquiries to their local Member of Parliament, their Councillor and perhaps the Mayor of Tower Hamlets as to why our local services are not delivering the care our community needs.

*Online appointments are normally not available and when ringing, one can not get an advance appointment all times.

new concrete factory near Olympic Park proposal

Currently school children in Tower Hamlets already suffer 10% less lung capacity due to air quality in the borough. Please sign a petition against a concrete factory.

As Sewardstone Road and Old Ford Road are feeder roads towards the East, any more traffic congestion in Bow through concrete lorries will affect the traffic through our estate and make things worst.

A recent application to built a concrete and asphalt factory in Bow Common had been refused after extensive protests but now there is a very similar application to try again.

concreteEverybody commuting in the borough will have suffered from severe traffic delays, due to concrete lorries coming out of the current concrete distributor in Wick Lane, they are near the Bow Flyover. A Conrete Factory will cause more delays and severely reduce air quality in the borough.

Therefore please support a petition

Step the Concrete Factories next to the Olympic Park and rezone the site from being SIL has been launched by the Tower Hamlets Extinction Rebellion. Please sign.

Parent representative needed for Raine’s

Letters about the future of Raine’s pupils arriving thick and fast on a daily basis now. Most interesting is the one that seeks a parent representative for a Steering group that will oversee the amalgamation of Raine’s into Oaklands school.

Considering that the formal consultation about the whole scheme has not even taken place and is not going to start til June, it seems rather a made-up process already. The Diocese not being able to find another Church of England school that Raine’s could partner with and the Education authority wanting the transformation for financial reasons.

The Council’s website lists the process here. Whilst I approached both the Honourable Rushanara Ali and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, the latter has now reacted to the referral from Rushanara and my objections and promises a thorough scrutiny of the closure plans.

On the up-side we are assured by yet another letter, that Oaklands is the top performing school in Tower Hamlets. It seems that amount of reading that is now put upon us, is probably lettering us into submission just out of wanting to save time.

Yet the letter asking for a parent representative on the Steering group, does not give the parents of Raine’s an ability to hold a formal election procedure whereby the Raine’s parents can elect a representative, which would mean that the Raine’s parents would decide who it is going to be.

oaklands head apology

Oaklands school apology about bad behaviour of pupils

The selection process simply asks parents who are interested to put their name forward to the Raine’s Foundation Steering group per email, the same steering group, headed by the Chair of the Interim Executive Board, Diane Cholerton, then selects the candidate. A steering group that already is set up prior to any formal consultation taking place.

We are getting constant notifications that head teachers and executive head teachers are changing and it is hard to get a grip on the situation.

We will not be taking part in any further attempts to send my daughter to Oaklands as parents have complained that during visits the pupils of Oaklands school were very rude.

The proposed closure of Raine’s Foundation school

Today, 7. May 2019, a day before the 300 years celebrations of the school, there was a meeting at Raine’s Foundation school with a proposal to close the school. Tomorrow at St. Paul’s there will be another celebratory service for parents and pupils to mark this wonderful occasion of 300 years of Raine’s.

Today’s meeting was called for and conducted by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and it was a totally inadequately planned stitch-up.

The hall was packed with parents and students who demanded answers from Christine McInnes, Divisional Director of Education.

Yet the meeting was very poorly conducted. There was no panel of specialists to answer questions of all types e.g.

  • What will happen to the school buildings
  • Will pupils out of the borough get support in finding other schools
  • Will the Curriculum at Oaklands be the same as it is at Raine’s
  • Can the school be kept open as it is
  • Will parents get financial help with a new school uniform?

Pupils were told at the school several days ago about the proposed closure and pupils were sent into a state of shock. All those actively preparing for their GCSE and A-Levels were made anxious and nervous and were caused severe distress by the unprofessionally delivered news.

Today people asked where is the

  • Member of Parliament Rushanara Ali, where is the
  • Mayor of Tower Hamlets?
  • Why were there no councillors to support the parents?

There was no proper loudspeaker system, parents and pupils were perched into the hall on group tables and uproar occurred when the representative from the Education Authority kept on smiling when people were infuriated and wanted answers. Parents remarked that if their children smirked and smiled at teachers as Christine McInnes smirked and smiled at them, the children would have been sent into detention.

There are already plans to use the current former Lower School building in Old Bethnal Green Road, as Sixth Form Building to be managed by Oaklands school.

Oaklands doesn’t offer a Sport A-level program. Their website does not elaborate on their Sport’s science option, it is blank. Raine’s offers the Edexcel BTEC Sport (Certificate)

There is no detailed program to transfer pupils from Raine’s to Oaklands with adequate continuation of subjects studied and pupils from outside of the borough cannot be guaranteed support in out-of-the-borough schools.

Parents widely expressed their frustration that Raine’s Foundation pupils should be sent to Oaklands instead as Oaklands has a totally different ethos and pastoral care. Oaklands is not affiliated to any church and parents sent their children to Raine’s because they like that it is being run in conjunction with the Church of England.

The meeting was a total shambles and badly run. Parents had been advised that a consultation will be published on the Tower Hamlets council website during June 2019 for 1 months.

However it is strongly advised that parents should complain as much as possible in writing to

  • local councillors and the Mayor of Tower Hamlets
  • the local MP Rushanara Ali
  • the local education authority, who push the closure because of financial difficulties, due to falling pupil numbers, via their consultation process.
  • There is also a parent petition against the closure in circulation, please ask around.

ToynbeeJust as I attended a council run workshop on Community Cohesion at Toynbee Hall this morning; I am shocked how badly handled this situation is.

This situation affects all parents who value a Church of England education for their children. We do not want to have this choice taken away from us. Parents are in total uproar and pupils are in shock, that their education is not taken seriously.

We constantly get told that there is a lack of school places, yet the local education authority wants to tell us that there is no interest for Raine’s Foundation places, when Raine’s Foundation used to be a very popular school.

Winter warmer festival on Parkview Estate

parkview-xmas18At the Glasshouse community centre,
Activities and refreshments are all free.

Saturday 1st December
Special Yoga with Ayala Homossany
10:30  – 12 noon
Family yoga for children with disabilities and special needs. Children age 4 +. Max 20 persons, children must be with parent/carer.

Saturday 15th December 2018

Winter Warmer Festival Day

10:30 AM Free Children’s Yoga class for children aged 3 to 8 years old, led by Suzy Crowe from the Yoga place in Bethnal Green.

11:30 AM; onwards Children’s Arts and Crafts.
making and cards together: lavender bags and more.

2:30 PM; World Song in Harmony, community Singing
workshop led by Sophia Efthimiou – “If you can talk you can sing”.

Spicy chai, tea, mince pies and seasonal snacks.