Consultation on the Carlton school closure plan is concerning
15 October, 2020
• AFTER a 12-month period Camden Council has finally published its proposals for the closure of Carlton school.
I am extremely concerned about the “consultation” process, especially with the community. Consultation is a statutory requirement, and this includes that with the wider community.
The actual timetable for community consultation came out on the day before the first of two such events and the detailed document a week earlier. It is unclear which community organisations were contacted and I suspect many were not on the list.
A high proportion of the pupils at the school are Muslims and yet the two consultations were scheduled for a Friday, the holy day of prayer. I understand there has, as yet, been no meetings of council officials with the committees of the two local mosques.
I understand that hardly anyone attended the first six community sessions on Friday October 9, hardly surprising given the lack of publicity.
As with other “consultations” the council is relying heavily on the internet; yet it would appear that around 25 per cent of residents in the area do not have adequate internet access. The unattractive timetable advert in the CNJ last week was tucked away on page 8.
Belatedly actions are being taken to remedy the situation with posters (yet to be displayed) and paper versions available in several languages of the proposal.
As to the actual proposal itself, it has the potential for development into a more dynamic community-based and post Covid, internet-based learning model. This should include greater involvement with local voluntary organisations who bring in considerable funding to the area.
This must include control of the new Carlton by its own governing body if the community is to buy into proposals and the experience and skills of existing staff so vital to our beleaguered community are to be maintained.
The council must also come clean on the financial aspects of the proposals.
Former Community Governor of Carlton Primary School