Carlton Primary School: ‘Use closure consultation to lobby for investment in Gospel Oak’ says school governor

Carlton Primary School. Picture: Google

Carlton Primary School. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

The vice-chair of governors at Carlton primary school has urged the community to respond to the consultation on closing the school, in an aim to secure more services for the Gospel Oak area.

Children from Carlton Primary School play outside after helping to design a new 'active space' for t

Children from Carlton Primary School play outside after helping to design a new 'active space' for their school. Picture: Camden Council - Credit: Archant

Last month Camden Council began surveying parents, carers and locals on the future of the school, proposing that it should merge with nearby Rhyl Primary School due to falling pupil numbers.

Peter Ptashko, who sits on the board of governors at the school in Grafton Road said that while the process gave people the chance to give their thoughts on the future of both schools, it was also a chance for people living nearby to lobby for more services in the area.

The consultation document asks to what extent respondents agree that the current Carlton building should be used for “education and other services to support the community”. Mr Ptashko pointed to the murder of Calvin Bungisa, and a pledge that more resources would be channelled into the area, something which he feels hasn’t happened.

He said: “We were promised by Camden council that services, including early years youth services, would be provided to the community. Promises have been made, yet that funding and those services have not arrived yet. This is an opportunity to get further investment in youth services, adult education and employment opportunities for young people, as well as early years education.

“I want our communities who live in and around the school to respond to this and share what we all know, which is that services have been disappearing and it’s a chance to bring them back.”

Monika Rego, whose 10-year-old son Riley is in year 5 at the school, said there were worries amongst some parents that the decision was a done deal. She said the timing of the consultation had made for an unusual start to the new school year.

“It is certainly not ideal,” she said. “Before lockdown, people were getting worried and there was a lot of talk in the playground, now there’s even less chance for that. I can feel the worry around the school and with the parents and the teachers.

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Ms Rego is due to attend one of the consultation meetings later this week. She paid tribute to the teachers for their response to the coronavirus pandemic and said her son didn’t want the school to shut. “[Riley] will be in year six next year, it’ll be really weird for him to sit his SATS in a different school. He is pretty upset about Carlton changing, he wants it to stay the same, he wants to carry on, he’s happy.”

The consultation will close on November 16. People can respond by visiting: