Courageous children and their impassioned parents stood up to defend their schools at highly charged meetings over closure fears.
There have been tears and heated debates at the meetings, all part of Central Beds Council’s public consultations on the possible closure of three Dunstable schools – Ashton Middle, Brewers Hill Middle and Streetfield Middle.
The same powerful and poignant message came from young and old: “Please, please save our schools.”
This week, a nine-year-old Dunstable girl has put down her feelings in a touching letter to the Gazette to plead for her school to escape the axe.
Madison Varney tells of all the reasons she loves Brewers Hill Middle School. And she writes simply: “At the end of the day, I just don’t want to go to a different school.”
She added: “Overall my school is the best school in the world, it’s great.”
The council has now held public meetings at all three schools.
One girl at the Brewers Hill meeting made this heartbreaking appeal: “Please, please don’t shut the school down. This school is awesome.”
Another Brewers Hill pupil added: “We love this school and Ofsted has said that the school is good. We have good teachers.
“We need to let our voices be heard and just let the school stay open.”
At the Streetfield Middle meeting, one woman spoke bitterly about the piecemeal changes which have been happening in the town’s education system, widely seen as shifting from three tiers to mainly two tiers.
She told the meeting: “The schools are in a mess. They are fighting over children – and our children are in the middle of it.”
Last week, the Gazette told of how passions ran high at the Ashton Middle meeting.
One young girl told the meeting in a tear-filled voice: “I only looked at this school because THIS is the school I want to go to.”
> The Dunstable Gazette reported last week on views voiced at the council’s public consultation meeting at Ashton Middle.
For the full story on the council’s public meetings at Brewers Hill Middle and Streetfield Middle, and to read Madison’s letter, see our March 12 edition.