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Help Blackmarston School. Please read this!


bobby47
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Dear friends, Blackmarston School is an extraordinary great place of care and learning and it provides a great education for our little ones who have disabilities that prevent them from attending a mainstream place of education.

I hope you'll all fully understand that a place like Blackmarston is unlike most places of learning that most of you will have encountered in your lives. Because of the many needs of the pupils, many of whom require a great deal of care and attention, the staffing levels are considerable higher than all mainstream Schools and consequently, when it comes to adequate funding, it's near on impossible to compare their needs and their staffing levels with any other typical School. Indeed, the largest slice of this Schools funding is spent on staff and whilst, in these hard times of austerity, mainstream Schools can withstand cuts in spending, a place like Blackmarston cannot without it having an extreme impact upon the pupils, the staff and the parents and carers.

The last three years have been hard on Blackmarston because the funding to support the School has remained static and it's anticipated that for the next five years there will be no increase in funding from the Government which means, sadly, through no fault of the School or its Administration, they will no longer be able to continue with the number of staff that are required to deliver the care and education our little ones need and deserve. Quite simply, based upon the funding that the School currently receives and is likely to receive throughout the next five years, their position is untenable unless the axe is wielded and staff are cut from the budget.

My Grandaughter is a pupil at this wonderful School and because of her special needs, she requires constant supervision, care and attention in just about any area of daily life that you can think of and so, I'm hoping that you will all make your comments, support this School and if at all possible communicate your views of concern to the Headteacher Mrs Sian Bailey who, on the 10th, July will be meeting our MP Mr Jesse Norman who is and will continue to be a great supporter of the School.

Her email is...sbailey@blackmarston.hereford.sch.uk. The postal address is....Blackmarston School, Honddu Close, Hereford.

The aim? Simply to push the Government and the Local Authority into rethinking their low level of funding to Blackmarston School. This is not just a School! These are not just typical pupils and the staff who are now aware that their jobs may be threatened are not just ordinary Teaching Staff. The School, the pupils, the staff and all who are connected with this wonderful place of care and learning are far from ordinary. Extraordinary is the word I'd use! They are the best of the best and they deserve to be properly and fully funded so that the little ones receive the very best that we can offer, so, please communicate your support and views to the Head of this wonderful School Mrs Sian Bailey.

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Hello my old friend. There is so much you can do Glenda. You can put your weight and considerable local political reputation behind this and help the Headteacher win support.

A letter has been authored by Mrs Bailey and dispatched to all the pupils parents and carers in the hope that there will be a good response and she'll have emails and letters of support to present to Jesse Norman who's she's meeting on the Friday, 10th, July.

As things stand at the moment, because of funding and nothing else, some staff will be made redundant and I'm worried.

My warmest regards and best wishes to you Glenda.

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Good Morning Bobby.I have kind of lost touch with the mysteries of the education system so any suggestions here come from an aging old fool who can only comment based on practicalities and as we all know these are not often recognized in financial economics.

 

I read the last Ofsted Report (2013 I believe.. a good school with potential). Any school with a particular set of skills needs to be protected and encouraged for its services will be needed no doubt as population grows within the County. It's located within the heart of a community not chased off in some backwater so it's children can engage with everyone and everything around them and this has so many benefits for both family and community.

 

So in my mind it needs protecting and we could all put a little weight behind this..even a website project would be good which I would be happy to contribute to. Perhaps a supporting letter or two in the right direction. It's time to give the head a hand and raise the profile of Blackmarston School.

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From Greenknight - Good Morning Bobby.I have kind of lost touch with the mysteries of the education system so any suggestions here come from an aging old fool who can only comment based on practicalities and as we all know these are not often recognized in financial economics.

 

GREENKNIGHT - that's two of us !

 

So I also have emailed my support and advised my MP Bill Wiggins as I am sure that the students are not just from the City but further afield.

 

Bobby , another well written and very topicial article .

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Bobby, afraid it is worse than you think! No1 Ledbury Road is to close in March!

 

For those who do not know, this is a facility run by Wye Valley Health Trust but mainly financed by social services. The children with learning difficulties,( a phase I am getting very tired of hearing as it does not properly describe some of the worse case children), go to No1 for respite and can stay over night.

 

Social care have decided this is now too expensive so will no longer finance kids to go there. Instead parents will have a choice;

Send their autistic child to a foster parent. As yet not employed or trained and anyone who knows any thing about Autistic people knows they like uniformity.

 

Have a Buddy! The less said the better.

 

Or have some money to buy the services themselves from a provider, what provider?

 

Bobby, I know you and I are not the only ones who care about the most vulnerable in our society, so we must hope that these children, who can not speak up for themselves, will have the full might of HV behind them to support them and their parents.

 

Talked to HT and they will do article next week. Jesse is on to it too. I am intending to ask questions at Council next week.

 

What HV bloggers can do is shout very loudly, write to MPs, local councillors, to the Hereford Times. Give as much support and TLC as you can to parents of these kids.

 

Do not put all the blame on the Council! This Tory government is to blame. Ok, Herefordshire Council may need to look at alternative methods of delivering services to the most vulnerable, but it is the Tories to blame.

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The closure of No.1 Ledbury Road, has been on the cards since 2012, when they started reducing the amount of care offered, even closing on one day a week.

 

Respite care is nothing short of a life line to so many families.... but it is not a statutory service. Therefore, it is seen as fair game by those who wield the axe.

 

The threat of staff reductions at Blackmarston, and the withdrawal of respite is absolutely criminal. How David Cameron and all those Tory voting fools, can say that the vulnerable, the disabled the disadvantaged will be protected is laughable. These people could not lie straight in bed, they are crooked to the core. They will stop at nothing to protect their own little empires, and blithely turn away from the pain and misery that is inflicted on those who suffer from the fall out.

 

I'm ashamed of this country, and I'm ashamed that so many saw fit to vote this bunch of self serving bas.tards back in again.

 

Where will this all end? What kind of society stands back and allows this to happen???

 

Please, take the time to send an email, make your feelings known.

 

Be the voice of those who don't have one. 

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Thank you Chris and thank you Dippy. I didn't know about the closure of Number One. I've heard of it and I know that many families need to use this wonderful place but I didn't realise that it was for the chop.

Its so depressing. So sad that it's come to this. To think that even the little ones with a disability are now participants in 'In It Together' as the United Kingdom PLC battles it's way back to triple 'A' rating and the fastest growing economy in the Western World.

Anyway, thanks very much.

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Dippy , your post , once again , was from your heart , as an older person who thought he had seen and heard most things your post brought a lump to my throat -

 

BOBBY - if there is anything Mrs U and I can do to help please tell us ,we WILL be there by your side , rest assured.

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Chloe has given me permission to copy this over from Facebook's Hereford Chat Room

 

HELP WANTED 
Closure of number 1 Ledbury road respite service for children/young adults with disabilities and complex needs

Calling all Parents/carers/friends/families of children/young adults who attend this respite provision . Socail services are CLOSING this service march 2016 ,this has been confirmed by Ledbury rd staff ,we need your help and support to try and stop this happening . If you are interested please comment,inbox me or contact carers support .
WE HAVE TO BE THEIR VOICE AS THEY CANT FIGHT FOR THEMSELVES

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The closure of No.1 Ledbury Road, has been on the cards since 2012, when they started reducing the amount of care offered, even closing on one day a week.

 

Respite care is nothing short of a life line to so many families.... but it is not a statutory service. Therefore, it is seen as fair game by those who wield the axe.

 

The threat of staff reductions at Blackmarston, and the withdrawal of respite is absolutely criminal. How David Cameron and all those Tory voting fools, can say that the vulnerable, the disabled the disadvantaged will be protected is laughable. These people could not lie straight in bed, they are crooked to the core. They will stop at nothing to protect their own little empires, and blithely turn away from the pain and misery that is inflicted on those who suffer from the fall out.

 

I'm not on an expert on this, but has there been/is there going to be any consultation regarding 1 Ledbury Road? The law on consultation is unclear in a lot of cases but there might be grounds to challenge the Council's decision if they haven't consulted families and service users on their plans to cancel the service. Also have they given due consideration to their public sector equality duty under the Equalities Act 2010?

 

As a first step might be worth asking the council are they going to consult? If not, why not?

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No.1 Ledbury Road, is run by Wye Valley NHS Trust, so I'm thinking any consultation would come from them, rather than the council. From what I've heard, they are hoping that groups such as Action For Children, Barnardo's etc. will step forward.

 

Some of these children have extremely complex medical needs, some life limiting conditions. There are medically qualified staff on duty there because of this. Because it's staffed by well qualified and experienced people, parents know that their child will be well cared for, and in capable hands.

 

Closing this facility is such a short sighted option. Respite care is the glue which enables many families to stay together. Without it, some may not feel able to cope. This may in turn end up with more children requiring foster placements, or costly specialist residential placements, most of which are out of county. The knock on effect being that family relationships are further fractured.

 

The tax payer loses out, because of the astronomical costs associated with long term placements, the immediate and extended families lose out, because with a little help and support they could have managed..... but the biggest loser is the child. The one this government tells us they are protecting.

 

I have no personal involvement with either Blackmarston or Ledbury Road, but I know their worth, and I know these families desperately need these services. We need to fight for them. 

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Guys,

 

I spent some time with Mrs Miles and her husband on Thursday and we are going to run a. Campaign with the HT and I hope with you! Blackmarston, Westfields, Barrs Court, stDavids Centre, No 1, they are all one when it comes to looking after the most vulnerable.

 

Am sure most of us would pay little bit more in council tax to keep these places open. So let's run with it and give our support.

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Great news, Chris.

 

And isn't The St David's Centre, now part of Herefordshire Pupil Referral Service, also being farmed out???

 

Expressions of interest for tendering for this service have already come in.

 

More than ever, the few who seem to care need to stand up and say, enough is enough.

 

Hopefully, a few more may join us......

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No.1 Ledbury Road, is run by Wye Valley NHS Trust, so I'm thinking any consultation would come from them, rather than the council.

True Dippy, but doesn't the Council commission (dreadful word) a service from them at number 1? I suppose it would come down to whether the Council is funding a separate service or a joint one with the trust.

 

Good to see a campaign being organised to defend these facilities. The Council doesn't have a good record when it comes outsourcing (another dreadful word) health/social services. Or any other kind of service come to think of it. What are all these highly paid managers we read about in the Hereford Times actually doing for their money?

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Places like these should be a normal requirement and not a luxury for any county and should not have to rely on people fighting for funding.  Sadly that is where we are.

 

Anyway when developers apply for permission to build more than 10 houses they have to agree to a 106 schedule this is worked out per house built.  There are huge amounts of money targetted for education.  The money is not offered you have to apply for it surely it is something the Ward Councillors (I was going to say for the areas but it affects everybody) should be fighting for.  

 

If I am incorrect on this I will not mind being corrected.

 

If we have to have houses in our own back yards I would rather see 106 monies going towards running these vital places than some of the hair brained ideas that have been put forward in the last few years.

 

Perhaps the spending of 106 monies specific for education could be discussed at a future Council meeting.

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Comments left on HT.

 

Although with the speed stories disappear from view on line, this will only be fleeting.

 

 

Comments already being deleted - gutless rag.

 

It beggars belief that the Council can close down a valued,  essentia even, service to save money yet can blow tens of thousands of pounds on an executive recruitment search that merely confirms the present incumbent in his post. Beyond satire, you couldn't make it up.

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I went along to a meeting between parents & officials about the closure of No1 Ledbury road in the shirehall today purely as moral support.

 

I've got to say it was a good turnout considering it was at short notice the parents there were super as were the kids.

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Hi dippy not sure who the the one guy & 3 women where representing either the council/NHS wye valley or both? Although I think the guys name was Paul tall chap short balding hair,with a sort of goatee beard!

There was also another guy there who could well of been a cllr? But due to me some of the parents & children being late in I missed that bit sorry!

 

There's a meeting next week but the parents are not allowed to attend?

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Hi,

The meeting agreed to set up a small group of members to investigate how all of this happened, who has been consulted, etc. at least one representative of the parents will be invited to sit on this group. Cllr. Lloyd Hayes and I, with many years experience between us, will be on this small group, which I hope will have its first meeting within two weeks.

 

The problem is biblical. In the seven good years no one wants to think about what might happen in the seven years of famine! No thought of the future for these vulnerable children and when I did speak up I got told that I was wrong. We now need to look to the long term future for vulnerable people, of all ages.

 

It is time for all of us to speak out, to understand the problems and to come up with solutions. Please sign the petition if you have not done so already and please keep speaking out publicly for the most vulnerable in our community.

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Thank you Cllr Chris for your update ,.

 

Mrs U and I wish you well in your deliberations . We have signed the Petition and will be following the proceedings with interest .

 

This ill thought out decision must / should be overruled .

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