The proposed closure of Townsend school highlights why a funding system that works on a pupil by pupil basis fails to account for how important these institutions are to certain youngsters.
What really stood out about Townsend’s proposed closure isn’t so much the falling student numbers that caused it, but how much the school means to parents and their children.
For parents, the school becomes a social hub. For some of them, the school hasn’t just been chosen for their child, but for them too – in the case of Townsend, one mum suffers from Lupus and struggles to cross the street to the school without experiencing agony.
If the closure goes ahead, she’ll need to travel even further every day to get her child to school. For the children, the school is not just a process – the building is not just a factory, churning out future employees.
It’s where they make friends for life, develop key social and life skills, and discover themselves. It’s why being forced to go online during the pandemic was so devastating for so many children.
Losing the entire school now is yet another shake-up our children shouldn’t have to face. Friendships are being torn apart.
For children who are shy and struggle to make friends, the thought is devastating. For those who are anxious and take time to adjust to a new place, having to move somewhere else entirely will undoubtedly have an adverse effect on their upbringing that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
This all highlights why relying on pupil-by-pupil funding fails to account for the fact that these schools do not exist solely to economically process as many children as efficiently as possible, moving them if need be for the sake of profit. They are places of love and learning, and they should be treated as such.
There is nothing more important than the next generation, and no expense should be spared for their welfare.