“Council should compensate parents after school closure” – MP


WARRINGTON Borough Council should compensate the families of pupils forced to change schools as a result of the impending closure of the Future Tech Studio School, according to MP Helen Jones.

The Warrington North MP believes parents should not have to pay for items such as new school uniforms – and claims some parents have already raised concerns.

She said: “Parents will have had to send considerable amounts of money on such items as uniforms.  It is not reasonable for them to have to pay out again because their child has to change schools as the one they are going to is closing down.  They are being penalised for events outside their control.

“Parents were being asked, only a week before the closure was announced, whether they wanted children to go on trips and attend events.

“I understand that the original intention was to close after year 10 students had completed their courses at the end of the next school year.  Unfortunately, that has been overridden by Government and has left students and parents in limbo and facing financial difficulties.

“The borough council should step in a compensate families who suffer hardship because of the Future Tech School’s closure.”
The school is to close at the end of August because of low pupil numbers.

Warrington Collegiate Education Trust has already announced that pupils in Year 10 and their parents will receive tailored advice, guidance and support to find alternative places to complete their studies from September.

The Future Tech Studio opened in September 2014, sponsored by Warrington Collegiate Education Trust – but student numbers have been impacted since the opening of the nearby University Technical College.

Cllr Jean Carter, executive board member for children’s services, said: “Officers from Warrington Borough Council have been working extremely hard to pick up the pieces after the government decided that Future Tech should close.

“A special meeting was organised for parents, to provide support, explain the options available, and to enable the local authority to coordinate an exceptional admissions process, with fair allocation of available places.

“We have been working in partnership with the Future Tech leadership team and Warrington secondary schools to ensure that young people have a smooth transition to another school in September.

“We have done our utmost to minimise the disruption to their education and the impact of the closure on the young people and their families. The government has refused to pay for any expenses that the families will incur but we will certainly look to help in any way we can.”


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  1. Here’s a thought. Why doesn’t Helen pay for it? Or at least make a donation. After all, as an MP’s she benefitted from a 10% basic salary increase in 2015, which resulted in a £7k increase. £7k! Not bad considering she’s a public sector worker, and public sector worker increases have been capped at 1% since 2010. But not for MP’s it would appear. She’s also due another £1k increase this April. So in total an £8k increase in just some 24 months. Now that would go a long way to supporting the 47 hard pressed families and constituents of hers, now seemingly required to pay for another school uniform. Over to you Helen

  2. The Future Tech Studio School is/was one of the three establishments which collectively come under the umbrella of the Warrington Collegiate Education Trust. The other two are Beaumont Collegiate and “Orford University’ (aka Warrington Collegiate). Despite all the hype heralding its introduction, and heaven knows there is a real
    need for this type of secondary education, because not everyone benefits from a university education; the hoped for success of Future Tech Studio School started off on the wrong foot, for all the wrong reasons.
    In 2015, a year after FTSS came into being, “Warrington Collegiate [was] slammed by Ofsted inspectors who said not enough students achieve their qualifications, the standard of teaching is too low and governors are ‘weak’.” Ofsted went to say “The proportion of students and apprentices who achieve qualifications is too low.
    Its report said “attendance at the college is too low and that teachers do not account for individual students’ needs.”
    Subsequently, and more worryingly “the Collegiate received a notice of financial concern in November and officials visiting the college in December last year said the college was in financial trouble because it had unrealistic expectations for the number of students enrolled and overly optimistic expectations about the amount of money it would receive from grants.”
    In last years’ budget WBC indicated an intention of giving the Collegiate a loan of £11.5 to ease its financial problems, but I it believe pulled back from the proposal in view of public concern.
    On the evidence, it seems insufficient thought and preparation has been given to providing vocational education to the youngsters of Warrington. Whether this fault lies wholly with the government or WBC or is a shared responsibility I leave to others better qualified to decide. But there is little doubt all the everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else those who might reasonably have expected to benefit from proper vocational training are the losers.

  3. Looks like the parliamentary watchdogs have finally woken up to nepotism Helen, and the archaic employment practices that MP’s like you favour. Although it won’t affect existing MP’s like yourself it will not be tolerated for new MP’s at the next general election. So your replacement will have to choose from a wider pool and we taxpayers can have more confidence in the decisions of our ‘leaders’

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