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Crawley school students launch petition for change as funding cuts threaten their education

The change.org petition has been launched by some students at Thomas Bennett Community College and already has over 200 signatures.

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The school has been in the news over the past few months due to the funding cuts by TKAT.

With teachers leaving the school and residents community meetings being held with councillors it has been and continues to be a turbulent time for all associated with the school.

Now some students have taken it upon themselves to launch their own petition aimed it seems at changing the school for the better.

The students say:

“We are Students that are currently attending Thomas Bennett. We are undertaking our GCSE’s and are month’s away from exams. With limited welfare support throughout the school, such as a medical room assistant or a pastoral support assistant for each year we are struggling tremendously with the way the school is run due to low funding.”

The student who has launched the petition also mentions how he emailed the CEO of TKAT raising his concerns but was told it ‘wasn’t in their hands and overall should stop talking about it’.

Whilst the petition does not mention it there is a feel that the aim is to bring the school back into public sector as stated by Crawley Council leader Peter Lamb who has show his support of the petition.

The petition states:

“Over the years Thomas Bennett has struggled with funding, only to which this struggle became increasingly more difficult when the academy, TKAT, took over our school. Profit not students success is what this academies aim is and large group of students including me are ready to do whatever needs to happen for something to change! Whether that’s a whole year walkout or a strike with the whole school. “

It adds:

“A walk out is something TKAT does not want to face especially with media coverage and limited time for year elevens, a whole year will not just get bad qualifications with missed time but will also reflect on the education that is being provided for students by this school run by the academy.”

The very fact that students themselves have now made the decision to make a stand shows how passionately the pupils feels about their educational needs but a viable outcome still seems distant.

A spokesperson from the Kemnal Academies Trust commented,

“We welcome our students’ active involvement in their education and the Trust has been working directly with the students at Thomas Bennett.

Funding is a national issue for Education affecting all schools, with the West Sussex “worth it” movement taking a leading part in the campaign to improve funding for all schools”.

The petition can be read here.

Education

Crawley’s Thomas Bennett Students Celebrate Christmas with a Winter Concert

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Students at Thomas Bennett Community College celebrated Christmas with an amazing Winter Concert held last night.

More than 25 students performed and showcased an amazing array of talent.  Performances included some Christmas classics as well a vast array of music and songs from all genres.

The school hall was packed to the rafters with family, friends and staff all of whom came to watch.  Decorated beautifully for Christmas the atmosphere in the school was fantastic.  The highlight of course was the students, whose talent was just incredible.  Students played a range of instruments including keyboard, guitar and drums.  There was also plenty of vocal performances from students whose outstanding talent was just phenomenal.

Lots of hard work and commitment went into making the evening such a success.  Students have been practising tirelessly in the weeks leading up to the event to ensure that they were able to perform with confidence.  The schools Sixth form students also played in a big part and helped organise the event and made sure it run smoothly. 

However, the concert wouldn’t have been such a huge success without the hard work of the schools entire music department.  Mr. Dobson, Ms. Wookey and Ms. Harvey all worked phenomenally hard to ensure that the evening was brilliant.  Their passion for music and teaching really shone through.

The event was the perfect way to finish the winter term. 

Headteacher, Stuart Smith said:

“The Winter Concert was just incredible.  I really couldn’t be prouder of the outstanding talent shown by the students last night.  The event was a real highlight of the year and wouldn’t have been possible without the hard work of Mr. Dobson and the music department.  We have some incredibly gifted students and watching them perform last night with such confidence was amazing to see.”

The whole school community enjoyed the experience so much that they are now busy thinking ahead and are getting ready to prepare for their Easter music concert.

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