Special school set to move despite parents' petition
PARENTS and staff at a special school in Hessle have reacted with dismay after its relocation to Hull was approved.
They collected a 1,800-name petition opposing the closure of Bridgeview Special School in Ferriby Road.
But cabinet councillors at Hull City Council have backed its relocation to the city.
Bridgeview staff say about 50 jobs could go in the shake-up, while dozens of vulnerable children will face disruption and uncertainty.
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Paula Burgin, who works as a child care officer at the school, said: "We are very disappointed. There is nothing wrong with the school.
"The council made its mind up from day one and the consultation, such as it was, has been a waste of everyone's time."
She said pupils with behavioural and emotional problems who board at the school now faced the disruption of a major reorganisation.
She said: "Bridgeview is a settled community. This will do far more harm than good."
Under the move, boarding places for up to 35 pupils will be offered at a redeveloped Oakfield Special School in Hopewell Road, east Hull.
Those places will be for nine to 16-year-olds.
Overall, Oakfield will offer 80 places from January 2013.
Councillors also agreed to carry out a further six-week consultation over plans for a new-look Bridgeview School offering 30 day-only places for pupils aged between five and 11.
Two possible sites in west Hull for the new school are under consideration – at Tilbury Road and Bethune Avenue.
Deputy council leader Councillor Daren Hale said Government funding for the new special schools given under the Building Schools For The Future (BSF) programme was meant to be spent in Hull for children in the city.
He said: "I can understand why some people want to retain the status quo, but we have got to look at the long-term interests and needs of children in Hull and I believe this is the right thing do with BSF money which was given to Hull."