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Press Release - 7th July 2002

The Eden Valley Parents' Action Group formed to try and save Eden Valley School from closure is now known as the Eden Valley Parents' Support Group (EVPSG).

Our main Brief now is to assist where we can the Eden Valley pupils transfer to the new Schools particularly those in Sevenoaks.

We are especially concerned to try and secure the full cost of new school uniforms from KCC who are responsible for the closure process. Unfortunately KCC are only prepared to make what they call "a discretionary grant" payment of £50 for each child towards the new uniforms which at Bradbourne School for Girls is likely to cost approximately £300, and Wildernesse Boys over £100.

KCC say they are not obliged to make any payment. Surely they could and should. Is this attitude fair and reasonable given they have closed the school against many of the parents wishes? Parents have not chosen Bradbourne or Wildernesse but they are now the nominated secondary schools for the Edenbridge children. EVPSG consider the discretionary grant derisory, harsh and lacking any compassion, and particularly appalling for those parents who simply cannot afford the full cost, and why should they in any event in all the circumstances.

KCC should in our view pay the full price of every child's new uniform as a natural consequential cost of their decision to close Eden Valley School (including those Year 6 pupils who were down to start at Eden Valley in this coming September who we understand are not even entitled to the £50 voucher). They should not pass this burden onto parents who have not sought themselves to send children to new schools.

KCC said they would do what they could to ensure the smooth transfer of the children - they have failed at the start. Their headed notepaper says they are INVESTORS IN PEOPLE - they should invest more in the children. They say the £50 is no more than a "goodwill gesture". Unfortunately little goodwill has been generated by it.

See copy of letter from KCC attached.

Address: c/o Wayside Cottage, Uckfield Lane, Hever, Edenbridge, Kent, TN8 7LJ
Tele: 01342 850609 Fax: 01342 850443
Email: steveandval@marshall1477.fsnet.co.uk

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