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Parents' bid to give axed Lincoln special school a new role

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: June 19, 2012

Queen's Park School will close in August next year

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The site of a Lincoln special school set to be closed down could be resurrected as a training centre for children with disabilities.

Queen's Park School, for children with severe and complex special needs, will close in August next year.

Existing pupils will be moved to St Francis or St Christopher's special schools in the city.

The decision to close the South Park school was taken by Lincolnshire County Council in December, despite months of tireless campaigning by parents and staff who battled to save the school.

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Now, in an attempt to retain something that will be of benefit to children with special needs, the head teacher and parents are proposing a training and education centre. And the county council has confirmed it will take a look at the business plan.

Councillor Patricia Bradwell, executive member for children's services at the county council, said: "When the decision was taken to close the school I put forward the offer that the school building could be used for some other community purpose.

"The head teacher, together with a group of stakeholders, has now come forward with a proposal that the site be used as a training and education centre for children with disabilities.

"We have asked them to develop an effective business plan and present it to us.

"Although we haven't yet received this we hope it will help provide a good, sustainable community facility for children with disabilities. We haven't received any other proposals for use of the site."

The school's chairman of governors, Tony Gray, said although it was too early to say what the future of the site would be, he supported any plan which supports disadvantaged children.

He said: "It's still early at the moment but we're having discussions about the best use that can be made of the land and buildings once Queen's Park School has closed.

"I'm not aware of any concrete proposals as to the use but the county council has given us assurances that the intention is to use the land to benefit the community.

"It will be very nice, given the sad consequence of the local authority's decision, if the assets at the school that have been built up over the years continue to support people with special needs.

"It's something that would give people with special needs a better opportunity to make the most of their potential."

Mum Debbie Gutsell, 28, of Carlton Boulevard, Lincoln, whose son Joshua, 10, goes to Queen's Park, said: "I think this plan is absolutely fantastic.

"The school should remain open. It's a fantastic site with great facilities and a swimming pool. There's every reason why it should remain for the use of people with disabilities. Maybe a bit of Queen's Park can still exist."

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  • FreedomSpeech  |  June 21 2012, 8:08AM

    Intelligence allegedly, not humour.

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  • hornet68  |  June 21 2012, 7:57AM

    ahh but the highest form of humour.

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  • InsideStory  |  June 20 2012, 7:55PM

    sacasam is the lowest kind of wit .

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  • hornet68  |  June 20 2012, 3:28PM

    Adrian1208 it was sacasam at your niave outlook on everything. to be honest i dont give the red arrows much thought, but i do know they will not be disbabnded on financial grounds due the their high profile as ambassadors for the uk.I do sympathise with schools closure but you are looking at the wrong pot of money.

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  • Adrian1208  |  June 20 2012, 1:57PM

    hornet68 I think it's far more important to keep this School going than having some pretty colours of smoke above our Sky's DONT YOU?????? This School is a vital asset to many severly disabled children, we've had & needed this school for as long as I can remember..........

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  • hornet68  |  June 20 2012, 12:31PM

    by Adrian1208 Wednesday, June 20 2012, 12:27AM "This school is so valuable to the children that attend it's vital that it should not close, it's just another satistic of the Government cutbacks..........." sell a couple of Red arrows....that would sort it!

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  • Adrian1208  |  June 20 2012, 12:27AM

    This school is so valuable to the children that attend it's vital that it should not close, it's just another satistic of the Government cutbacks...........

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  June 19 2012, 9:29PM

    Along with Z_Kellerman and M_C_Donald, I am struggling to see a difference between a 'training and education centre' and a school. Perhaps the difference is that the parents and headteacher will be taking responsibility for any costs involved. The school could potentially function exactly as before, but as a contracted out service - privatisation by the back door, parent-led rather than opposed?

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  • alishatom  |  June 19 2012, 9:13PM

    By Piglet We could do with a school where children with learning bisabilities can be helped and have training , to help them do shopping ,cooking ,gardening and other things like this we in lincoln do not think of these childern at all.

  • M_C_Donald  |  June 19 2012, 2:23PM

    Agreed, my understanding also was that it was not fit for purpose. I am confused, bearing in mind the amount of hooha that was raised when the closure of the school was announced, there is not a whimper here. It confirms my initial feeling that people were more sentimental about the school and fearful of change rather than concerned for the education and wellbeing of the children (which I am sure will be well addressed in their new schools).

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