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IN REPLYING to a letter from the ‘Proposing Group’ of parents of Wisewood and Myers Grove Schools, Sheffield’s Labour MPs have given them their full backing.

In their response to the group, the MPs state that in their opinion a one school solution is the best way forward for children in the north west of the city, and the voice of parents, not political campaigners should be paramount.

Further, they tell the group that in their opinion if both schools were to remain open there is no doubt falling numbers in both the Wisewood and Myers schools could mean a significant reduction in staff at both schools, making it extremely difficult for a broad curriculum to be offered.

Additionally, there is the practical question of how refurbishment and improvement could take place on the restricted site at Wisewood without considerable disruption, possibly involving the transfer of children to Myers. All of us want the best possible 21st century facilities, equipment and technology - and of course, an environment for the wider curriculum, which the new site will offer.

The MPs also believe that the idea being floated in some quarters that both schools could work in partnership ignores the main problem of falling rolls in the north west of the city.

They believe the building of a new school presents an ideal opportunity to provide additional post-16 opportunities in addition to the Hillsborough Centre, and a development which is strongly supported by parents.

The MPs have also expressed concern that the funding of two separate schools could be have adverse affects on the investment for building and improvement, and for the running costs available to other schools across the city, which they feel is unacceptable.

Commenting on behalf of the MPs, Angela Smith said,

“As local MPs we have to be mindful of the interests all the city’s children when making a decision of this magnitude. In our view only a one school solution on the Myers grove site answers that concern. Anything else would in our view be irresponsible. With this in mind we are delighted that the ‘Proposing Group’ feel this is the best way forward and in this we are delighted to offer out support.”

Issued : 23 June 2008

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