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School defends Barcelona training

 

Barcelona was chosen because it embraces culture, said Mr Guy

A head teacher whose school flew staff to Barcelona for a training trip said the weekend was the "cheapest option".

 

Adrian Guy and 20 teachers from Whitegate End Primary School in Oldham, visited the Spanish city at a total cost of £5,691.

 

Mr Guy claimed the trip, which meant the school was closed on Friday, cost less than local training programmes.

 

But Chadderton South councillor Dave Hibbert said he did not understand why the event was held abroad.

 

The residential programme, designed to enhance "creative teaching and cultural awareness", cost £271 per person.

 

It was funded by the school's training budget and staff contributions.

 

The one-day closure of Whitegate End formed part of four days set aside for staff training and curriculum planning during the term, according to Mr Guy.

 

It's a cavalier decision which is going to antagonise people and certainly sends out the wrong message

 

Dave Hibbert, Chadderton South ward councillor

 

He said: "Barcelona was chosen because the artists Miro and Picasso have been studied in school, and the city exemplifies how to celebrate and embrace culture.

 

"This training is linked to our School Development Plan and had the support of the school's governing body, including parent and council representatives.

 

"The timing of the visit coincided with the launch of our second whole school Cultural Awareness Month, which will see many visitors come to the school and several educational visits for our pupils throughout October."

 

But Chadderton South ward councillor Dave Hibbert said the choice of Barcelona as a venue made the school appear "careless" about money.

 

He added: "I can understand the need for training but I don't see why this could not have been done locally and as a result it would have benefited the local economy.

 

"It's a cavalier decision which is going to antagonise people and certainly sends out the wrong message."

 

A spokeswoman for Oldham Council said staff development was a decision left to individual schools and their governing bodies.

 

Last week, a similar training exercise for teachers at a Staffordshire school, due to be held in Marbella, was cancelled due to "pressure from media interest".

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Someone needs to look up their artists. Having been to most of the museums in Barca, there's not a lot of Picasso knocking about (there's a bit but not worth especially going to see), Miro I'll give you, Gaudi I'll accept (both of whom are vastly overrated IMHO), but to go to Barca to see Picasso is dodgy, you'd be much better off in the Gugenheim in Bilbao (decent museum and structure as well). If you are going to waste money (not my money nor my parents money- they pay Rochdale taxes) then at least think of a better excuse which at least sounds right and doesn't sound like you just named two famous Spanish artists to explain your jolly to a very nice city with nice bars, weather, beaches, shops and football teams.

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Hold on, I could have sworn I went into the Picasso Museum over there, including the never forgotten piece of art involving a bloke having a, err... Gregan whilst doing a poo and eating a chicken.

 

It must be a jolly good school to have twenty art teachers though.

 

I can only think that all schools need their budgets cutting if they have money like this floating around. Knock 20% off their budget - see if they don't hold these things in a big building with tables and chairs made for learning in.

 

NB. The "it's not my money" argument will probably fall down when you look where your local schools have swanned off to.

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NB. The "it's not my money" argument will probably fall down when you look where your local schools have swanned off to.

 

The same place your local schools have swanned off too as we are both supposed to pay council tax to the same authority (I'm due for a refund). I've not heard of any Durhamites going on some fancy jolly in the name of teacher training (some kids have gone to places but that's different and it was for Charity), but if you know better I'd like to know. I do stand corrected on the Picasso museum thing though, was probably shut when I was thinking about going (so I don't remember it), but one of his most famous pieces of art (Guernica) isn't there.

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