Brownhills School: no longer for the community

facilities

Brownhills School: Access denied. Image from Brownhills School website.

Further to my post yesterday, I was contacted by a reader and good friend of the blog who wishes to remain anonymous, but has some grim news to relate about the seemingly crazy removal of community access to the Brownhills School swimming pool for evening swimming lessons.

It seems my worst fears are true, and community access to the Brownhills School facilities is being removed for all groups who formerly used them. I am gobsmacked. This establishment – a very good school – was once called Brownhills Community School; no wonder they dropped the middle word.

My correspondent had this to say:

Sadly it appears that it’s not only the pool that is being denied. Howard Fullelove who is involved with the running of Brownhills Colts soccer sides has also been told to look elsewhere as have the Spotlight Theatre Group apparently, who will follow the indoor bowls team who were removed last year.

Now it appears that soccer pitches will just lie idle, and I can’t understand why. What do they cost to maintain? Line marking about 3 times a year, and grass cutting during the short growing season, surely more than covered by the pitch fees?

What sickens me is that all the people who run these groups are dedicated volunteers who give their time and hard work for no other reward than to help youngsters enjoy themselves, and in most cases digging their hands in their own pockets to keep things afloat.

There used to be a big sign in front of the school which boasted BROWNHILLS COMMUNITY SCHOOL and also advertised their wonderful COMMUNITY lounge. Sad days for our town I’m afraid.

I agree totally; Brownhills Community School used to support so much local activity, it really was deserving of the classification. With this snub to local clubs, activities and volunteers, an otherwise excellent institution has stuck two fingers up to the people who fought for it in the bad years, who fundraised for better facilities and stepped forward to support their town.

I find this situation really quite distasteful. This is a public relations disaster.

photo

The footer of the Brownhills School letterhead, proudly proclaiming support for sports, and declaring itself at the ‘heart of the community’ – they’ll be needing to remove that, I’d wager.

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11 Responses to Brownhills School: no longer for the community

  1. ianrobo says:

    not shocked at all Bob. Is the school still under the council or is it a blasted academy now ?

    The governments current reforms are ensuring each school is it’s own private business for people to take out of it what they can. This shows this more than anything.

    And yes Labour did open up the door to this and I challenge you to find one labour member who now supports this. Look at the issues over Darlaston academy to see the profiteering taking over.

  2. martin says:

    “The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” –Olympic charter i think that these words are most fitting

  3. Sam says:

    My daughter goes to this school and she doesn’t get swimming lessons in the curriculum so who will use it if not the community or the school? Why don’t they knock it down sell off the football fields and build a new housing estate………

  4. Very sad news. Having read the letter, it is true that it is illegal to use school funds to subsidise community activities, and that will have weighed on the governors in taking this decision. Whether they could have increased charges to cover the losses only they can say.

  5. David Evans says:

    Hi Bob
    I have followed this issue with interest..and no small measure of alarm. The letter ussied under the joint signatures of the headteacher and chairman of governors gives no mention of any consultation or discussion having taken place with groups, It is a notice to quit, in fact.
    The ofsted summary report for this school ( exportal.brownhills.walsall.sch.uk ) describes the leadership and management as “excellent”, and that “governors have regular updates and training” etc…
    What measures , if any, are now actively being taken to contact the clubs whose revenue to the school may be lost from April?
    The loss of the community goodwill by this “fait accompli” is unquantifiable, and not what I would describe as “excellent”. Far from it.

    Yours
    David Evans

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