Staff could go but Gatehouse school will stay open

Parents and children march on the Civic Offices on Tuesday
Parents and children march on the Civic Offices on Tuesday

GATEHOUSE School looks set to stay open after a last minute reprieve from councillors.

Parents and children marched to Tuesday’s cabinet meeting under a banner reading ‘Save Gatehouse School’ as they prepared to defend the school for boys with behavioural problems.

During the meeting, Dylan Crabb, a student at Gatehouse asked councillors: “What will happen to us as pupils if the school closes? There are people taking exams and we want to be assured that they will be able to finish them.

“We have had some ups and downs over the years but we want to stay and finish our education because that will lead to jobs and things in the future.”

Interim headteacher, David Owen, said: “Gatehouse is improving. We are pleased with the boys as they are thriving as part of the community.

“We have had significant support from the Mayor and the school even looks a lot better. We deal with special boys in every sense of the word.

“The staff know them and are doing a good job. We are moving in the right direction.”

Members of Milton Keynes Council’s Cabinet agreed the school would close on December 31, 2011, and re-open on January 1, 2012 as a new sponsored academy.

Pat Collins, whose son Michael goes to Gatehouse said: “It is a short term victory for us.

“We are delighted that the school is staying open and that the boys have somewhere to go, but now we are worried about the staff.

“With these boys, it takes them a while to adapt to changes, so bringing in new faces that they are not familiar with might cause a lot of problems.

“There are already staff at the school so we hope they are allowed to stay on.”