Auc­tion of en­tire school ‘a dis­grace’ fol­low­ing clo­sure

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Elis Sand­ford Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

THE en­tire con­tents of a doomed Birm­ing­ham school have been put up for sale – with ev­ery­thing from books to minibuses go­ing un­der the ham­mer.

The con­tro­ver­sial Baver­stock Acad­emy, in Druid’s Heath, will close in Au­gust af­ter damn­ing Of­sted re­ports, while po­lice have also launched a fraud in­quiry.

Now Birm­ing­ham auc­tion­eers MGR Ap­praisals has been ap­pointed to sell off the en­tire con­tents of the acad­emy, which has been in spe­cial mea­sures since 2014.

Buy­ers will be able to bid to­tal of no fewer than 158 rang­ing from class­room for a items desks, chairs and books to Olympic tram­po­lines, power drills and minibuses.

It is un­clear who will re­ceive the pro­ceeds from the sale.

Of­sted re­ports branded Baver­stock Acad­emy as “di­lap­i­dated” and teach­ing as “in­ad­e­quate”.

In April, the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion con­firmed the school was clos­ing fol­low­ing dis­cus­sions be­cause of its poor per­for­mance, a fall in pupil num­bers and fail­ure to find a spon­sor.

Par­ents have cam­paigned un­suc­cess­fully to keep the acad­emy open.

An­drew Elves, an ex-pupil and dad to two chil­dren who have also at­tended the school, branded the huge sale “a dis­grace”.

“The Govern­ment planned the clo­sure of Baver­stock and it seems to me that they are now try­ing to get what­ever they can out of it,” he said.

“We feel that they have dis­re­garded the chil­dren and loyal staff.

“I feel sick to my stom­ach that the pro­ceeds will not go to the staff and chil­dren who have missed out.”

Steve McCabe, Labour MP for Selly Oak, has pre­vi­ously crit­i­cised the Govern­ment for the clo­sure.

He said neigh­bour­ing schools were over-sub­scribed, and par­ents faced a panic to find new places.

“The con­tempt shown for Druids Heath over Baver­stock is stag­ger­ing,” Mr McCabe added.

“Af­ter ten months of dither­ing and bro­ken prom­ises the Govern­ment have got their way.

“It looks like Theresa May’s idea of help­ing or­di­nary peo­ple is to close a lo­cal school and wash her hands of my con­stituents. It’s a to­tal dis­grace.”

The Save Baver­stock cam­paign, set up by par­ents, branded the de­ci­sion “wrong for ev­ery­one in­volved”.

The con­tents of the Acad­emy are up for sale un­til July 4, and se­cret bids can be submitted in writ­ing up un­til that date.

Po­ten­tially the high­est value items are two school minibuses, with sim­i­lar mod­els on sale else­where for be­tween £8,000 to £15,000.

In April po­lice launched a fraud probe at the acad­emy.

One ar­rest was made and two other peo­ple vol­un­tar­ily in­ter­viewed, West Mid­lands Po­lice con­firmed.

> Fail­ing Baver­stock Acad­emy in Druids Heath was closed de­spite a cam­paign

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