Thursday, 25 September 2008

I went on to Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School to meet some of their School Council...

Vicki Stagg had invited me to the school to meet these young people, to look around and to discuss some of the problems they were experiencing with the PFI contract. It was great to meet this talented group of students and listen to them clearly articulating the things that they liked about the building, the things that simply weren't working well and the things that weren't working at all.

PFI has transformed the learning landscape here in Leeds but the success of each scheme critically depends on the quality of the partner organisations and their commitment to what we are trying to achieve. It is important to remember that in every scheme the school 'belongs' in the most important sense not to the company, not to the Council or Education Leeds but to the young people and the community it serves. It cannot be acceptable that the school isn't clean, that the toilets are not properly maintained and that the site should be covered in litter. It is also important that the building supports the delivery of the curriculum and the learning pathways we are building for our young people. We can do better than this and we must all work with the students to make the school somewhere we can all be proud of.

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