Cowes Enterprise College now delayed until Spring 2013

A date for occupation of the new Cowes Enterprise College has been announced to pupils and teachers.

Pupils at Cowes Enterprise college have just been informed that the new building will open in Spring 2013.

Beynon:”Puts an end to the on-going uncertainty”
Steve Beynon, council chief exec, has written to the pupils and parents saying, “This will give enough time for the contractors to complete all aspects of the build and time for the staff to familiarise themselves with the building and ensure the resources are all in the right place before the pupils move into the new school.

“Whilst this delay is deeply regrettable, it provides a more realistic timetable for the work and the transfer to the new site to be completed and puts an end to the on-going uncertainty for all concerned.”

Student disappointment
The pupils of the school have been told three times that the new school will open, only to be disappointed that it wasn’t.

After the most recent delay, a pupil at the school wrote to On The Wight giving an unsettling insight into how the students were being affected by the multiple delays.

Multiple delays
The council had originally said that the school would be open for the new term starting September 2012.

Students at the school informed On The Wight that they were originally told (September 2011) the process of moving into the new building would start from Easter 2012 half-term onwards.

Since the project started, in many council papers, senior councillors and officers have informed the council Cabinet and Full Council that everything was on track.

By June 2012 this had slipped, with the council going public with it in their ‘One Island’ magazine saying, “The new-look Cowes Enterprise College is due to be handed over by contractor Pihl in late July/early August,” continuing that, “Fitting out of the new school is at an advanced stage”.

Three delays have been announced in total.

When questioned by On The Wight after the most recent delay, Stuart Love, Strategic Director of Economy and Environment, said that the occupation of the new building wouldn’t be before 3rd December.

Letter from Steve Beynon

Update: 9:48 Added details, moved text around.
12:48: Changed headline. Added extra historical data. Put in start of article – “We originally ran this story as the school would be opening a year late, but more precisely, the school will be handed over a year late. Apologies for any confusion”.

12:54 Update: We originally ran this story with a headline saying the school would be opening a year late. We were comparing with the handover date (not opening) of Easter 2012 that we understand was told to students in September 2011. Apologies for any confusion – Ed.

Location map
View the location of this story in Cowes, England, United Kingdom.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.


  1. Mike Starke

    16.Nov.2012 1:59pm

    Am I missing something? Nowhere in Steve Beynon’s communication to the people whose education has been drastically disrupted in Cowes do I detect the word “sorry”. If it helps, that’s drwg gennyf in Mr Beynon’s native Welsh.

    The changes to the Island’s education system were hailed, for pure party political motives, as the best thing since sliced bread.

    Now, these changes are toast.

    Those in the know, who fear bullying if they speak out in public, tell tales of under-staffing, delayed building and the inevitable low morale all round.

    The changes may not be wrong in themselves (only time will tell) but what is patently obvious is that the management of the changes (own up: Messrs Beynon and Pugh) has been abysmal.

    And don’t forget, folks; the same people who have been (mis)managing the Island’s schools are the same ones who have signed up to the offshore-tax-avoiding road repair PFI, paid for by our taxes.

    Remember the slogan: “We pay our taxes, so they don’t have to”.

  2. This whole mess could have been avoided, if as in previous decades, the work was left to some more than capable Island Companies. The whole project could have been built “Section by Section” with handovers at key points, at least some of the school would be in use and some pupils would already have transferred over. Other sites and companies do it!

    Having seen the site at first hand it was run in a shambolic way at the start and not a great deal has changed. I predict that there will be an inquiry into this at a later date at great cost to us…..again!

  3. Does anyone know why Janet Newton is not the one to have issued this explanation?

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