£100 a week for childcare due to school closure

The new Tidemill building. pic: habitables.co.uk

Tidemill parents face paying £100 a week to send their children to school as a planned move to a new building is delayed.

Tidemill Academy, in Deptford, which recently underwent a transition to academy status, was due to move into a new building during the October half term break. Due to planning delays, the move has now been put off  until December.

The school is offering parents the option of paying £20 a day for their children to be looked after by private firm Schoolfriends for the last two weeks of term.

Leila Galloway, a parent of a child at Tidemill Academy, said: ““A lot parents can’t afford £20 a day, many have more than one child at the school so they face paying a large amount of money.”

Galloway led the ‘Deptford says no’ campaign to stop the school being granted Academy status and is now unhappy at the latest decision to close the school early.

She said: “The thing about academies is that they can do whatever they want, they are accountable for everything. The local council has no responsibility.”

She added: “With the early closure of the school there is obviously the issue of childcare, but there is also the issue of education. A lot of parents are concerned that their child won’t be receiving a proper education. The school hasn’t accounted for difficulties in moving.”

Mark Elms, headteacher at Tidemill Academy, sent out a letter informing parents of his decision to close the school on 7 December, two weeks short of the end of term to accommodate the move.

In the letter he said: “We appreciate that the changes to the moving dates are extremely difficult and frustrating for parents… Unfortunately there is nothing we can do.”

Chairman of school governors, Keith Geary, said to the Evening Standard:  “With the Schoolfriend club we are trying to give parents an option – there’s no obligation for us to provide this service.”

The school is now due to open at the new site on Giffin Street on January 4 2012.



One Response

  1. Cosmic Elm November 22, 2011

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