It is a sad time. Homerton College of Technology closed it's doors to key-stage four students last year, and today when I walked past I noticed that they have started demolishing it.
During my time there parents and students were treated like third class citizens. There was never any proper consultation period with the parents. Hackney Council/The Learning Trust had decided that the school would close, and Goliath won. They quite literally bull dozered their way into getting what they wanted. So, much for democracy. Parents campaigned hard to keep the school open, but their efforts, despite their passion, were futile.
There is a desperate shortage of school places in Hackney, and all of the boys from Homerton are now are being taught in schools in Tower Hamlets. And, if you know anything about turf wars in East London, you'll appreciate that this was a very wreckless thing that Hackney Council did. I think they could have at least waited until all of the key-stage three cohort had completed their education, at Homerton and basically given them the opportunity complete key-stage four. That would have been the decent thing to do.
But, there's really nothing democratic about the way Hackney Council operate, I'm sure you have read about the under hand tactics they used in gentrification of Broad Street Market. They've pissed off all the residents there as well.
The Learning Trust - are ruthless buggers, they went out of their way to undermine the staff, students and ethos of the place. They replaced at least three or four sets of senior management teams in a short space of time, which inevitably played a major part in effecting staff/student morale which resulted in the school becoming a chaotic, directionless place. And, with the imminent threat of closure you can only imagine how miserable it was. All a tactical ploy. There was so much game playing going on. If you are interested in reading about it, go onto the Hackney Gazette Website and type in Homerton College of Technology, back date it to 2004.
We had a group of governors who did not represent the demographics of the school, one of whom was related to Jools Pipe. And the rest of them (I know I've got no room to talk - but the whole thing just stank of kippers to me) were white middle class women, who were posh. All of which supported the closure.