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|About||Community Action For Education|
Who are we?
The local concerned activists are involved in community, trusts, media, arts, social justice and education organisations such as: Black Achievers Awards - Black Governors Information Network - Black Health Initiative - Chapeltown Independent After School - Equality Leeds - Leeds Black Film Club - Leeds Reach - Leeds West Indian Centre - Leeds West Indian Centre Charitable Trust - Leeds Young Authors - Northern Regional Study Guide Group - School Governors - Stephen Lawrence Education Standard - St Kitts and Nevis Association; and for the purpose of this campaign they have chosen to act under the umbrella name of COMMUNITY ACTION for EDUCATION (CAFE).
What are our aims?
The CAFE activists are in the process of arranging a series of fact-finding meetings with key stakeholders to find out what is happening at Hillcrest Community Primary School in terms of teaching and learning – and if there are issues – how are they being resolved? A delegation from CAFE have met with five key Hillcrest school governors including the chairperson, Cllr Peter Gruen and have also had a meeting with key members of Leeds Children Services including the Director of Children’s Services, Nigel Richardson. We also hope to meet the headteacher and selected teachers and teaching assistants.
After these fact-finding meetings and discussions with Hillcrest parent/carers CAFE activists will organise a community report-back public meeting and formulate supportive strategies beneficial to their children, teaching staff at Hillcrest and their local Leeds Chapeltown and Harehills communities.
Why are we concerned?
Since 24 January 2012 when they became aware of the distressing information about Hillcrest Community Primary School from an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post, entitled: The Leeds school that runs anger management courses for five year-olds, a group of local educationalists, social care professionals and community social justice activists have been meeting regularly on Thursdays at Leeds West Indian Centre to discuss and plan a way of supporting the school towards achieving its goal of quality education.
The latest Ofsted inspectors (14 December 2011) indicated that ‘the school has made inadequate progress in making improvements and inadequate progress in demonstrating a better capacity for sustained improvement’ within a 17-month period since their previous inspection in June 2010. This is compounded by ‘a high volume of staff absence’ and nearly 40 pupils excluded last year. The evidence from the two Ofsted reports and local experiences indicates that perhaps the key issue at Hillcrest is the failure of sustained good management. The Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted) regularly inspects schools to help them to provide sustained education excellence.