GMB, the union for school support staff, will join with other unions to lobby Rotherham Council ( RMBC) Cabinet Members on Wednesday 26th November at the Town Hall from 9.30am to reject the proposed closure of Abbey Special School in Kimberworth which would potentially mean 37 redundancies. This is part of a joint union/ parent campaign to save the school from closure. Consultations on the closure are underway. Abbey School has 87 children with a range of behavioural and learning difficulties. It has suffered disruption since a staff restructuring programme was introduced last year.
As part of the campaign to save the school union members will be in the Town Centre on Saturday 29th November gathering signatures for the petition to save the school. Also as part of the campaign a meeting has been arranged for parents to attend to give them the true story behind what has been happening at the school. This will be held at the Green Dragon Public House, Kimberworth at 6.30am on Wednesday 3rd December with refreshments to be provided from 6.15pm. Unions urge as many parents as possible to attend the meeting.
Also unions are asking parents and residents to sign the online petitionhttps://www.change.org/p/rotherham-metropolitan-borough-council-save-abbey-special-school
Teachers and Support staff took strike action earlier in the year over the devastating and disastrous restructure and an increasing number of violent incidents involving pupils. The staff took this action as they felt that Management were not doing enough to ensure the safety of the pupils and staff.
Lee Simpson, GMB convenor, said “Consultations are already under way, but we plan to put pressure on councillors to reject the officers’ recommendations. What is disappointing is that while staff and public consultations are underway the Local Authority is already offering parents places at other schools. This is a school which was outstanding in 2008 and good in 2011. Since then, the management team has been changed and they have failed to introduce and enable change and innovation in an appropriate time frame, they had failed to encourage initiative and support and reward staff. However, we do not believe Abbey is beyond repair, even though it is currently in a very dire situation. Parents and residents are urged to get behind the campaign to save the school and stop elected Councillors from making a wrong decision that will have a detrimental impact on Rotherham’s children.”