A head teacher in Botley has denied suggestions that her school is in danger of closing.
Sian Tomlin, the head of Botley School was forced to write to worried parents after they had received a letter from Botley Cllr Rupert Kyrle claiming the school was in danger of closure if more houses were not built locally.
The letter also stated extra homes were needed in order to combat air pollution, eventhough housing is a major source of emissions.
The Lib Dem Councillor had told parents:
“The number of children at Botley school has been declining over the years.
Unless we see more family homes in the area we will see our school closed with children forced to go to school in Hedge End.”
In her letter to parents Ms Tomlin responded by saying:
“(Councillor Kyrle’s) letter claims the number of pupils at the school is declining and that the school is in danger of closing.”
Can I reassure you that is categorically not the case. Numbers of pupils in the school are rising. Last year we had some 253 pupils today we have 279. We are currently turning pupils away and have a waiting list. There is no threat of closure to the school in fact if anything we need to expand!”
The head went on to say she was ‘dismayed’ the school had not been contacted to verify the claims which she said she felt had been made for a ‘very political purpose’.
Meanwhile, over on Northcliffe Digital Media’s dead duck ‘Hedgeendpeople’ site (currently up for sale – a snip at £7k!) Independent Hedge End Town Councillor Keith Day wondered why Cllr Kyrle had voted against the Borough draft plan as the letter was so strongly in favour of it?
This immediately started speculation that Cllr Kyrle had not authored the note himself, which according to the imprint, had been published and promoted on his behalf by Councillor Anne Winstanley.
One local 54 year old, who did wish to be named, reacted angrily to the news:
“There is no way Cllr Kyrle would have written a letter like that as he has made it quite clear that he is only in favour of more housing provided it is nowhere near him.
“But the question remains, who on earth would be prepared to put out such a load of ill-formed and poorly researched scaremongering tosh like that?”
Photo: Botley School