Bretton Woods closure mistake
RECENTLY there were a series of letters published by the Evening
Telegraph regarding Bretton, in particular the echoes of regret that Bretton Woods Community School was shut down.
I wanted to address a few vital areas of this debate. Bretton Woods Community School was shut down after 30 years of service.
I was a student in year 10 at the time, and being moved to the Voyager School was a difficult experience.
The issue in hand proposed by the Liberal Democrat pre-election leaflets is that Bretton needs a new secondary school.
Here is perhaps the biggest fundamental problem of our times. Despite outcries of reconsideration and resentment by students, parents and staff – our concerns were never acknowledged.
I wrote to the Evening Telegraph in January 2008, in which my comment was published regarding the destruction of Bretton Woods. Am I a futurologist? Was John Gribble a futurologist?
Bretton Woods, like many schools both past and present picked negative reputations among those who have never inhibited such intellectual worlds.
I graciously envy those who can make assumptions about a school without experience of it, it’s teaching staff or its environment. The generic idea of Bretton Woods being a ‘rough’ school, or perhaps even a ‘demonised repository for social waste’ as Diane Reay famously suggested.
The connotations did not match the love, warmth and communitarianism many people felt at Bretton Woods. There were no gangs or large groups of unruly hoodlums, there were no regular skirmishes between students and there was not this lurid image that often gets conveyed of schools in and around the inner city.
The council were forever ‘outsiders looking in’, hence the reason for their decision to merge two schools about 2.3 miles away from one another, for a grand total of £26million, which does not cover costs for repairs and the maintenance of the school.
The underlying logic is dumb- founding. Closing a school in a city where net immigration has been rising since 2004. Bretton Woods had some 1,400 students and staff.
Immigration is not the fault here, just policy.
One that not only fails to represent the working man and women in Bretton, Millfield, Walton, Werrington and in honest reflection perhaps the country overall.
There is a strong feeling from the many people I have spoke to of both resentment and vindictiveness on behalf of the council for those ‘chained’ to these demonised parts of the city.
I was a student at the Voyager School for four years, I have no qualms about that. The school has many great teachers and a great nucleus of Bretton-walton students.
Driving through Bretton, I see an empty pit.
Ruins, a Dante-esque hell, a breeding ground for the council to sell what’s left of ‘public space’ in this country.
School in Bretton Park? Let’s take the park away from the public also, as if taking away the school and its corresponding community functions wasn’t enough.
Devouring back five years (fifth anniversary of BWCS closure - 13/07/2012), I stop and stare.
A ruined region, a hazard and a community-less Bretton. Pure obfuscation from our political ‘representatives’.
Many hearts were broken when they closed Bretton Woods. Some haven’t healed. And they wonder why we’re so disillusioned by politics!
Although this mutiny may be viral and indignation may be felt through the social-networking mediums, I for one will always remember Bretton Woods, the real Bretton Woods.
A cheerful atmosphere, the perfect social mixing of pupils, a multi-racial and uber talented teaching staff. Thank you for reading. RIP Bretton Woods Community School.