Parent Power: the fight against the closure of Gay Elms and Whitehouse primary schools in Withywood and Hartcliffe

Event Details
Date: , 2022
Time: to
Location: Bishopsworth Library
Price: Free
With: Mike Richardson
Series: South Bristol History Festival
Page Details
Section: Events
Subjects: Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted: Modified:

7.00pm, Weds 7th December, Bishopsworth Library, Bishopsworth Rd, Bristol BS13 7LN

In October 2000, Bristol City Council announced that it was considering shutting Gay Elms and Whitehouse primary schools, because in its view there were too many surplus school places in the Withywood and Hartcliffe areas. Sally Miewa, acting head of Whitehouse primary and Jackie Ball, chair of Gay Elms’ Parents Teachers Association expressed shock and anger on hearing the news and immediately began to organise resistance.

On 27 October, Bristol Labour Councillor, Adrian Becker, head of Education and Lifelong Learning, gave the green light to proceed with a review that he felt would endorse his plan to shut both Gay Elms and Whitehouse. The National Union of Teachers threatened to strike if any of their members were made compulsorily redundant. Parents vowed to oppose the closure of their schools by any means.

This is an account of how the parents, united in their determination and defiance, took up the cudgels in their battle to save their schools, which eventually forced the council, on 13 February 2001, to accept defeat and reverse its decision.

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