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18:06 – prayers over
Chairman reads a statement of condolence to Anthony Minghella
Cllr Price & Millar not present
18:09 – Lots of declarations of interest from Cllrs. Lots of people who have family members in school, some business related.
18:13 – Still being listed. This is even more than last time.
18:14 – Phew … Finished declarations.
Questions from the public. Lots, so no supplementary questions unless time left over.
18:15 – Move to extend the public Q&A by Cllr Deborah Gardiner. 30 mins suggested. Vote –
Most on left .. two on the right – vote for it.
Lots against – on the right of the chamber (tory mostly)
First public question
18:16 – Weldon. Question from last meeting is not on minutes.
Q. Will the council say if they will grant the use of Salisbury Gardens for the Jazz Festival
Cllr Hunter Henderson – no longer required as the Winter Gardens will be used.
18:18 – David Holmes – Car sharing database would be a good idea.
Cllr HH – in the process of joining the liftshare.org scheme. Island would have a dedicated page.
18:19 David Miller, Cowes – Open letter to Lord Adonis
18:20 – Sarah Doran, Seaview. How would the breadth of the 14-19 YO be delivered secondary schools?
Committed to offering post 16 at school and IW college.
18:21 – Mr Thompson. Has the council been in touch with other school authorities?
Cllr Wells, Yes.
18:22 – Paul Critchley – size of schools have an effect on discipline. How does IW council think making big school help discipline. Will the council commit to no more than 7 form entry.
I welcome you support in a move two tier.
It would be inappropriate to discuss the maximum size of entry form.
18:24 – Chris Welsford. Island resident were given a false impression by David Pugh. Cllr Wells – I was at every consultation, emphasis was placed on all issues. Relying on one speaker and one subject distorts the issue.
18:26 – Wendy Varley – Schools are improving currently,
Cllr Wells – we are pleased with the improvement – despite this we remain in the last 25%. 2007 does not fully reflect the situation. We need to wait for 2008 results.
18:28 – Olivia Varley-Winter. Carisbrooke didn’t know about becoming a faith school.
Cllr Wells No final decisions have been made – should it a faith school be established.
18:29 – Dr Eade
Cllr Wells – Officer have been in contact with some of the schools you mention.
18:32 – James Pickett
Did the compliers of the questions believe No preference mean the same as none of the above?
Cllr Wells – We decided on the three options in November, so had those on the questionnaire.
“We made clear on many occasions” that No pref + a comment – meant non of the above
18:33 – Newport raised to a Minster – Newport
The minster church of St Thomas, Newport – “It’s a great honor for the Isle of Wight”
18:34 – Melanie Swan – 3 issues
Children’s education. It’s about relationships not schools or structures. Emotional security is important – vital relationships are breaking down since the announcements. Management is change is vital. Lots of Islanders have demonstrated.
There is a chance that radial changes will not improve the situation.
We will have a new council in a year.
2 – Trust between the votes and those elected is important.
Trust has broken down between the votes and the council.
It’s not just what you have promised to them – it’s what they’ve perceived.
Islanders understood that there would be a referendum.
I urge my colleagues to support this motion. Lots of applause from Public gallery.
Cllr Lumley 2nds.
Wendy Arnold speaking – We might wish to believe questionnaire represent the electorate views, it doesn’t.
Seriously ask the Cllrs to give the electorate a chance to vote on this.
Cllr Knowles – We don’t support the motion.
Cllr Humby – I’m not convinced that closing schools will help raise standards. I will support the motion. I gave my word to the electorate and I intend to keep it.
Cllr Churchford – most people on the Island new what they are voting for – a 3 tier system. Brown envelopes at dawn is an appalling way to treat the teaching profession. Consultation should have been conducted before the Options were laid out.
Cllr Lumley – I also made a promise. Standards is a word missing form the Option 5. I believe people made a clear commitment. I have no doubt if the previous leader was in place, we wouldn’t be having this debate.
This whole process has carried out so much stress on the Island.
I don’t like referendum, but I think it’s the only chance.
I do hope you put your trust in the people of the Island.
Ryde South (?) Cllr: Voters will decide who has stuck by their word at the next election. I ask you to consider this if you have any questions about this.
Education and Discipline will be effected.
Cllr Bowker – We ignore the public at our own peril. The parents of children are telling us. The mandate we have is to support the public, Do not attempt to destroy it – people will repay you. I will support the motion.
Cllr Chapman – I was elected by the people and support option four.
Cllr Gardiner – My biggest concern is the destruction of belief in politics through this process. You may think that if your school is saved, you’ll be saved – you won’t. People will remember. Some of you have refused to engage with your constituents – this is disgraceful.
The support that the noose offers to the hanged man.
18:57 – Cllr Hancock – The suggestion of a referendum ignore the questionnaire results. I will vote against this.
Cllr Wells – Not surprised to hear that I won’t support this. Last month they wanted it stopped – now they want more.
10 meetings with almost 2,500 people attending.
It must be one of the biggest debates across the Island.
From all of the school visits I done, the message from school people saying make a decision.
19:00 Members are elected to make these decision. There’s nothing to suggest that a referendum would provide a benefit.
We’re seeing history repeating itself. Trying to pull back from a tough decision.
We do not need to delay.
19:02 – Cllr Sutton – As the author of the election manifesto. We said that we will not make changes to schools in our period of power – this will not happen.
So along as government funding is continuing.
For those who say You may lose your seat. So be it. Sometimes tough decisions are not liked.
Cllr McRoberts – Very interested to hear from Cllr Sutton. What about the people demonstrating? If we’re going to listen to the people
Cllr Brown – With all of the repetition, can we move to a vote?
Cllr Mosdel- Contrary to the article in the CP – It’s not an ailing council – it’s trying to do it too fast, too soon. You are not listening to the people.
There is no commitment to raising standards.
These methods are Orwellian, devised by a body called ‘We’. It’s classic Soviet. Present something distasteful, then through amendments it becomes more acceptable.
You’ve now denied democracy. Option 4 gives you the chance to give that back.
19:12 – Why the hurry? A few weeks delay in the lifetime of learning is not a long time. It’s prudent.
A referendum will give you the true feeling of the people. A move to reestablish
19:14 Named vote called.
For – 17
Against – 28
19:19 – Cllr Pugh. We’ve listened a great deal. I’m now convinced that 2 tier is right.
Raising standards, HQ leadership and government funds.
It’s vital that we make the right decision.
Why now? Primary/secondary best. Message that Primaries are working. We propose ….
A further two years at primary – make the most of the teachers.
Transfer children at 11
Secondary trained teachers will get the most too.
11-19 for secondary – all
11-16 wouldn’t give the best
Diverse selection of schools will be essential.
All Primary are with 1 or two form entry. Single age teaching. Some schools to close – particularly the Micro ones.
Should also have pre-schools where possible.
A number of Middle schools for Primary use.
Size of secondary schools
where possible on the same site
Teachers: Particular favour toward Rural schools – but there must be a one form entry.
We cannot say which will stay open tonight – this will be after further consultation.
We’re on the verge of making an historic decision.
I am not ashamed at moving away form my support of a 3 tier system. My good experience in schools is not reason enough to keep it.
19:29 – Cllr Wells 2nds
I’d like to highlight the positives. Last high school was built in ?
£36m funding in the next 2-3 years.
I’ve toured many of the Island schools – Many of our building have come from Victorian buildings
A complete renewal of the school buildings. “Legacy for our children and for generation to come”
Further good news – Jim Knight announced today – Island successful in its bid – 7 new diplomas
Business and Advertising, Media, Engineering, Hair & beauty, Hospitality, IT, Environmental & land based studies.
19:32 Cllr Knowles – Libs Dem won’t be supporting any of the by this “Lying conservative council”
Would like to table an amendment
To support change to a 2 tier, but without causing disruptions and more details – *sounds very similar to the Pugh one*
Cllr Adams 2nd
Cllr Pugh – Much of what the Lib Dems have suggested is in our proposals or what will be announcing shortly
Area by area meeting at the next stage – distribution
I encourage this to be voted down.
Cllr Lumley – I wish to speak against it. I suggest that the Tories are moving towards the Lib Dem position. Dave Knowles, as the only surviving Lib Dem – has won.
Cllr Wells – This is not about politics – it’s about standards.
Cllr Knowles – when we were looking at this we didn’t talk about mass closures. You’ve created a massive vacuum of panic, then you’ve offered them a little carrot.
Why don’t you say it in plain English – it’s not about distributions of schools – you actually mean closing schools.
Here’s a petition around 1,000 requesting the school in my area is not lost.
Vote on amendment
Back to the main motion
19:53 – Cllr Cousins – Co-locate health and leisure facilities within school buildings.
We will need to have people schooled in looking after people –
Cllr Oulton – Proper use of funds is very important. The spending on children with special needs is not particularly efficient at the moment. It is essential that SEN children are given the proper support.
Cllr Swan – Draconian measures are not needed to give support to SEN children. I have grave fears to what will happen to these children, given what I have seen.
Teachers are very demoralised by the way they have been treated.
The degree of trust that is being asked of me has not been proven by this council.
20:02 Cllr Churchman – We will have a serious problem attracting teaching talent – they’ve lot trust in the council.
20:03 – Cllr ? – Brown Envelopes reference is not acceptable. A slur on the teaching profession.
20:05 – (East Cowes Cllr) Improved education is a gateway. I heard on IW radio, “not that I listen to such rubbish.”
3 out of 100 leave Island schools without qualifications. It’s 2 out of 100 on the mainland.
I support this motion.
20:10 – Cll Ward – I know we all want the best of the children of this Island. Where we differ is how this should be done.
We did make a manifesto not to do this. No matter what you say.
When parents ask me at the voting station will you retain 3 tier, I answered yes. Now I find myself in a dilemma.
Welcome the lessor closing of primary schools.
We still don’t know what we are voting for.
I can’t support it as I don’t know what I’m voting for.
20:11 – Cllr Arnold – this questionnaire is a lie – it doesn’t ask them what they want, just how many schools do you want to close.
Cllr Williams – I did an apprenticeship.
Cllr McRoberts – Changing to a different tier is not a magic wand.
Cllr Scoccia – I want to make comment on the point raised many times about teaching and support schools. The manner in which schools are lead by heads and the quality of teacher is vital. We believe that the changes that we are supporting will be good for your future. We are working to getting towards clarity for those who are still concerned.
These changes will allow us to attract the best talent to the Island.
Let us move forward. I fully support the motion.
Cllr Mosdell – Can I suggest that we spend some money on an auto cue, so Cllrs will be able to read their prepared (by someone else) statements?
It’s not an operational document, so I cannot support it.
Cllr Brown – Is it jobs are lacking on the Island or is it the failure to get qualifications? Being united with the mainland is important.
20:24 Cllr Wilcox – I promised my electorate to stay 3 tier.
18 Jan on IW radio – I said it was a sick joke, with less schools actually being closed.
I truly hope this is the best for the children
Cllr Stephens – it’s looking more promising, but there’s no meat on the bones. I can’t vote for it. We need to keep it in our hands
Cllr Gardiner – Why did you all support defend 3 tier previously? There’s a lot of disrespect to Islanders to present this final option so late, when people have taken the time to fill out the Options you laid out before.
Wells said Faith schools needed 25%
Surplus places – confusion
Wells – One per household – had to climb down
Writing to the wrong Minister was a silly blunder
Stupid to wind people up – then change your tune.
20:32 – Cllr Bishop – We need to look closely at the benefits of 2 & 3 tier. I think the Island is different to the mainland. We’ve gone back on the election promise – on the door step I don’t believe that any of us had caveats.
Cllr Adams – I won’t support, as I can’t trust it. Teachers – teach your kids respect.
Cllr Lumley – No evidence has been presented to me that two tier will bring an improvement. Sometimes it’s about representation, sometimes leadership – when the weight of feeling is against you should represent.
There’s only three councillors in here with children in the schools system.
The evidence will not be there for improvement by the election. That’s what the electorate will remember.
Cllr Pugh closing before the vote.
We know that changing the structure is not enough – standards is all important.
We’re voting on the principles.
The details will be outlined in the Summer.
It’s the overall principles that we’re voting on.
Cllr Mosdell questioned if any other people wrote speeches for Councillors. I wish someone would write Cllr Mosdells speeches for him.
An historic vote
For – 27
Amended motion passed. Option Five – two tiers with less school closures.
Carried – Shout of Yes from public gallery.