Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Learning Trust still disgusting? £2m playgrounds useless?

In the run-up to his election victory in May, Mayor Jules Pipe said that the behaviour of the Learning Trust was disgusting. His anger at the trust - in charge of educating 27,000 Hackney kids - was over its failure to communicate with parents and politicians.

Pipe said that the trust had failed to correct what appeared to be false fears over funding cuts and that it had also failed to explain how the cash had been re-allocated toward poorer parents. (I'm not sure if this issue was the same one raised by Times columnist and Hackney mother Rachel Sylvester back in 2008 and revisted in March 2010: Hackney class war declared by Times and Mail - if it was then the Mayor's intervention was quite late in the day)

In the mean time, should the people of Hackney wait for the Mayor's interpretation of any further Learning Trust communications on cuts and re-allocations? Here's the latest:

Nick Jackson, play development manager for The Learning Trust, told Children and Young People Now that cash to staff Hackney's four new adventure playgrounds may no longer be available due to a £5m cut to the national play strategy.

"It would seem a bit short-sighted having spent millions on playgrounds to not back that up with some funding for revenue," he says. "These playgrounds are about providing a proper childhood experience. Increasingly, children growing up in an urban environment have so many pressures and a lack of opportunities to play and be themselves."

According to the article Hackney was one of 30 authorities given £2m to refurbish or build new play areas. These areas were also give £500,000 to run the new playgrounds. Adventure playgrounds in Hackney Hackney Marsh adventure playground (Adventure playground playworker employment details: £18-£19,000 per year)

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