Tough love in Love Lane


As our cramped junior school sets out to squeeze in more classrooms, Love Lane echoes with power-drill and punch-hammers. Last week they were digging up a brushed-off surface laid only ten days before. It seems that the architect failed to advise the location of sewer and drains, so during the Easter holiday the pile-driver smashed right through them. This bad news was only discovered when the children returned from vacation and started to use the loos again.

Not the first disaster for a school built on a flood-plain, where damp goes on rising and building costs are doubled.

Why, you might ask, did they build the school on a compromised campus that has so little room for expansion (it was already too small before they even started to build)? You’d have to put that question to the big chiefs at East Sussex County Council (ESCC), determined to build in the wrong place, all because they intended to make loads of money selling the far bigger and more appropriate former Lower School site to a supermarket. Everyone knows how that ongoing disaster ended – the big chiefs made their loads of money, but the Lower School location still resembles a Second World War bomb site.

What more can be said beyond one cheer for Love Lane residents who grin and bear; two cheers for the contractor’s workmen pressing on with inadequate advice and supervision, and three cheers for the teachers and staff who have, malgré tout, created an excellent and popular junior school?

So popular that they’ll be building again within two or three years! The allotments had better watch out. When the school was first built ESCC made some undisclosed deal with Rother District Council transferring land from the allotments to the new building site.

On the bright side you might be cheered at the thought that ESCC will have precious little more to do with education. Even our junior school has somehow become an academy and will very soon lose all support (some of it was very good professional support) from the County Council – and indeed from Parent Governors, since this government has decided they are totally irrelevant to the running and supervision of their children’s schools.

We have to conclude that from the building to the running of schools, our governments, local and national, have created an unholy mess.

And not just in education. It takes a particularly arrogant government to drive hospital doctors, head teachers and primary school parents into disobedience all within the space of one month.

Tories should beware. When those taking to the barricades are predominantly middle class, then “government” as understood in England is no longer governing.


John Howlett

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  1. Lots of fair comment there but please explain how the big Chiefs made their big money, the site is not sold (is it ?) and in any case I can’t see how salaried employees or non salaried elected members could be allowed to profit personally from the sale ?


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