What is to be done about Draycott Moor College?

“Either we get satisfactory answers – or we ask for the college to be shut down!”  That was the statement from one councillor at last night’s heated Draycott-in-the-Moors Parish Council meeting – and he was not the only one who felt that way.  His viewpoint was backed by a majority of the members.

But what has caused this radical turn in opinion?
Well, the disgraceful scenes at the school earlier this month to be precise.  A fortnight ago, it seems that individuals climbed on to the roof at the school and started tipping tiles down on to the ground below.  Three police cars, and an ambulance, had to be summoned; and Draycott Old Road had to be closed off.
Unbelievably, the same scenes were repeated ten days later.

Council meeting

The question of what to do about Draycott Moor College was a main focus on the parish council’s agenda last night. Members of the public were there to see the debate – and to ask some pointed questions too. One resident of Draycott Old Road was blunt.   He said: “… the parish council do not seem to be listening to us…”

With this kind of pressure to deal with from its own voters, the council has decided to ask representatives from the college (which is run by a private company, Horizon Care), as well as local police officers and someone from the county education authority (which funds the fees of the pupils who attend the college) to come along to a future meeting of the council to explain what they think is the best way forward.

The councillors were equally blunt though: unless, they said, they are happy with what they hear, they will formally apply to have the college closed down.
It is all such a long sad way since the college picked up a ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted in 2012.

Crisis brewing

There have been problems for some time.
The college cares for children with extreme behavioural issues, so nobody expects it to be easy – but most residents in Draycott Old Road have their own stories of being intimidated or bad-mouthed by teenagers from the school, and crime statistics websites regularly highlight incidents in the area – so, after what has recently happened, householders have clearly now had enough.

They want some questions answered…
# Why do some pupils at the school seem to be able to leave when they feel like it?
# The college was managing around twenty pupils, mostly teenagers, until recently. Now, it has expanded to thirty-six pupils and now includes a new section for primary-aged children. Why the expansion of numbers here, when discipline was already a problem?
# The college takes students from all over the county, many of whom are brought in by taxi from many miles away.  Why bring all these troubled children together in one concentration?
# The old headteacher Roger Flint seems to have ‘retired’ – since when these new incidents occurred.  A new headteacher, Ms Gail Norrie, seems to have been brought in to sort things out – and, to her credit, she has been open with residents.  But what is her actual plan?
# The local police community support officers say they ‘recognise the problem’. But, also, what is their plan?

Watch this space.

***
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5 responses to “What is to be done about Draycott Moor College?

  1. Draycott Old Road parking

    I live near the junction of Draycott Old Road and Uttoxeter Road. I have watched the traffic between 8.15am and 9am. The staff are parking cars right up to and on the junction.
    Every morning I see cars come down Uttoxeter Road and when they turn into Draycott Old Road are almost crunched by a vehicle coming out of Draycott Old Road “on the wrong side of the road” because they are overtaking parked vehicles.
    The teachers who are parking their cars thus are stupid and should not be looking after children.
    J.M. HALDEN-EVANS

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    • College staff attitudes

      Having lived very near to the college and experienced the huge parking problems first hand, I would say that the problem is with the staff and their ‘entitled’ attitude.
      I had many discussions with the college and they said the staff had the ‘right’ to park on the road (even though they have huge area for parking at the rear). I always wonder how the staff would like it if we all went and parked like that outside their homes!… so that they cannot even approach their property safely, let alone park near to it.
      These people are doing a difficult job, granted, but their attitudes to the locals is appalling.
      Concerned

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    • College parking 'moaning'

      It has come to my attention, upon reading your post, that the likelihood of the teachers, as you state, “being the stupid ones”, is remarkably less than accurate, due to your inability to form a grammatically correct sentence, thus rendering you the stupid one.

      Maybe the teachers at Draycott Moor could do with a little more support from the local residents, rather than the incessant moaning about such a trivial issue, such as parking. Surely, when you choose to live near a school without a car park, common sense must prevail?

      Now to address those who are complaining about the issue of cars parking outside their homes —>. I did not realise the residents of Draycott Old Road purchased the pavement and tarmaced road outside their house as well as their four walls of bricks and mortar. This road is not paved with double yellow lines or “no parking” signs, and nor is it a premier holders only road.
      Therefore, as long the cars are taxed, insured and hold a valid MOT certificate when necessary, they are fully entitled to park. If you are complaining about experiencing difficulties pulling out of your driveways, due to cars parked on the opposite side of the road, maybe you should spend your time registering for your driving test again. I have witnessed the cars parked and the certain individuals who seem incapable of leaving their driveways due to this. It has confounded me everytime: you’re a little car, not a bus! If you cannot manoeuvre your vehicle during these situations, I must confess my concerns for your lack of driving skills. Alas, those not blessed with the ability to expand their closed-minded bigotry will not be able to comprehend this concept.

      The children who attend this school deserve to have a place where they feel safe, accompanied by staff who care about them, despite their challenges. Not a community breeding hate and distain. We are not born bigots, bigotry is taught. For the few residents near this school spreading their poisonous words, please refrain from your ‘lessons’. They have fallen on deaf ears to souls with far more love than yours.
      Fellow community dweller

      Liked by 1 person

      • Draycott College now has off-road parking which seems to be working well.
        I am disappointed to see an opinion that people who live by schools shouldn’t be able to access their own drives. Many of the local residents have lived here many years and when the school was a primary school the parking problem only occurred at the beginning and end of the school day. I for one support the work the school is doing – and the people who work with dedication every day to give students a stable life.

        Headteacher Gail and her team are doing really well and there is a definite will for the school to integrate with the local community and I for one will support that.
        I am not ashamed to put my name to my comment as I believe all people should stand up and be counted when commenting on vital community issues.
        Kate Bradshaw

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  2. Sad for the college

    We live next door to the college and i do feel dreadfully sad for these children … every day we hear swearing, balls over in the garden, children on the roof at the back of the school, grid-covers thrown into our garden, seeing children being handcuffed by police… it isnt a nice sight.
    But to be honest i would rather that, than it be knocked down; and a site for travellers or housing estate built there!

    … the thing that really makes my blood boil is the careless parking in the street and the rude agency staff that work at the school .. most days i have to call the school and ask for cars to be moved so i can get out ..
    I blame poor management. Yes mr flint has retired – but surely lets give new headteacher gail a chance to try and put things right at this very challenging school. She had only been in post a couple of days when the children had a bad day.
    Yes it wasnt nice for the residents. Out of my living room window there was riot vans, ambulance, twelve police cars: it was awful BUT these children need more than just agency workers coming in to care for them.
    hopefully gail can turn this around …
    sandra lyle

    Like

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