Full Council Meeting 19 March 2008 : Live Coverage : Update 14

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18:06 – prayers over

Chairman reads a statement of condolence to Anthony Minghella

Cllr Price & Millar not present

Declaration
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.

Update 1:
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)
25 against.

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.

Update 2:
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.

Update 3:
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.

Update 4:
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.

Update 5:
For:
Arnold
Wilcox
Ward
Baker
Chapman
Humby
Stephens
Adams
Lumley
Gardiner
Swan
Mosdell
Foster
Joyce
Bishop
McRobert
Churchman

Against:
Humber
Hunter Henderson
Kennett
Oulton
Piggot
Scoccia
Sutton
Hobart
Fitzgerald Bond
Effemey
Cousins
Cameron
Burt
Bulwer
Brown
Abraham
Webster
Wells
West
Whitaker
Williams
Wood
Tuson
Hancock
Knowles
Taylor
Pugh

No abstention

19:16 results
For – 17
Against – 28
Motion lost

Update 6:
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
11-14
14-19
split
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

Update 7:
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.

Update 8
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
For 2
Rest against.
Motion lost

Update 9:
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.

Update 10:
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.

Update 11:
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.

Flawed
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.

Update 12:
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.

Update 13:
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.

Update 14:
An historic vote

Named vote

For
Hunter Henderson
Kennett
Oulton
Pigot
Scoccia
Sutton
Hobart
Fitzgerald Bond
Effemey
Cunningham
Cousins
Cameron
Burt
Bulwer
Brown
Abraham
Webster
Wells
West
Whitaker
Williams
Wood
Tuson
Hancock
Taylor
Pugh

Against
Arnold
Wilcox
Ward
Baker
Chapman
Humber
Stephen
Knowles
Adams
Lumley
Gardiner
Swan
Mosdell
Joyce
Bishop
(missed on)
Churchman

For – 27
Against 17

Amended motion passed. Option Five – two tiers with less school closures.

Carried – Shout of Yes from public gallery.

Wednesday, 19th March, 2008 6:11pm

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52 Comments on "Full Council Meeting 19 March 2008 : Live Coverage : Update 14"

newest oldest most voted
Sally Perry

Well done to Duncan Smith and Michael Coombes on their excellent coverage tonight.

fieldhawk

Well, going on the referendum vote – that is me finished, for ever, with that load of undemocratic rubbish calling itself a council. You are total waste of space.

gill
Humber Hunter Henderson Kennett Oulton Piggot Scoccia Sutton Hobart Fitzgerald Bond Effemey Cousins Cameron Burt Bulwer Brown Abraham Webster Wells West Whitaker Williams Wood Tuson Hancock Knowles Taylor Pugh I hope you can sleep at night with the knowledge that you are personally resposible for the death of many rural comunities, that you have deprived bright intelligent children of their education that you have raised the polution… Read more »
Aidan Gant

Humber
Hunter Henderson
Kennett
Oulton
Piggot
Scoccia
Sutton
Hobart
Fitzgerald Bond
Effemey
Cousins
Cameron
Burt
Bulwer
Brown
Abraham
Webster
Wells
West
Whitaker
Williams
Wood
Tuson
Hancock
Knowles
Taylor
Pugh

… you’re all SCUM.

Margie

I know who I WON’T be voting for next May

Simon K

Those 28 Cllr’s who voted against ought to be ashamed of themselves and I hope they lose their seats as a result and more. The questionaire was even a disaster, and they propose to organise/improve/re-develop new schools with their proposals??? What a joke. They are just playing at it.
I thought that carbon footprints and levels of pollution are supposed to be reduced?

Craigy

have been sitting on the edge of my seat – thanks vb people for making the effort to get us the latest news – hope you get rewarded for your efforts.

as to the councillors, really disappointed with the whole process and will definitely be complaining about the consultation to the ombudsman.

Michael

They say the new option will involve less school closures but how many less? Are they going to pitch schools against each other? I’ve already heard of many neighbouring schools fighting with each other.

squareface

Depends on what kind of difference you want to make,Joan.
These clowns have a problem telling the truth,so how can you believe a word they say

squareface

Patient Observer,
You speak as if we can put some kind of input into the transition.You are very mistaken.The decision makers are only interested in saving money and little else.

gill
this will take years of disruption for our children buildings cannot be built over night, first we build the new schools then we have to build the teaching team for each school lets face it it takes time to find a good team of staff our council cant seem to find one and according to the council we a accepting a second grade education how dare they… Read more »
wendy
balderdash 28 blithering idiots ruining are island disrupting are children and making the island not so green as everyone would like.while poor mums have to take their children to school in cars instead of on foot.i have the answer to this oust the 28 blithering idiots put in their place micky mouse snoopy and big ear they could do better they certainly cant do any worse but… Read more »
Rupert Besley

Thank you, Ventnor Blog, for your coverage, which I have been following – foul as it is to watch good things being needlessly destroyed on false pretexts by people who should know better.

jenny cannell

i dont know why option 5 couldnt of been put to the public vote…its like we dont have a say really..

Kieran
Scoccia says; ‘These changes will allow us to attract the best talent to the Island.’ She is living in a dream world- what teacher would choose to come and work in a massive, faceless primary as opposed to a small, rural school with high standards? The Island can’t attract teachers because the council doesn’t provide ANY incentives for NQTs, the special needs support is non-existent and the… Read more »
Sally Perry
Please can I remind people that this is an open channel of communication and we would like to leave it that way, rather than close the site to comments. Please consider your comments before hitting the submit button – you cannot allege corruption unless you have positive hard proof, and we’d prefer you to show the proof before making any allegations. Don’t let that stop you discussing… Read more »
Save IOW Schools
Patient Observer that is untrue. Fair discussion has always been allowed. This is however completely different with the Council of course. They banned the topic of discussion completely from their forum, tried to silence anybody against the plans and Pugh has now managed to convince his ruling party that an Option announced literally in the last few minutes is the best one to go for. What an… Read more »
Squareface

Sal and Simon’
I am very sorry.
I retracted my statement and apologize.

fieldhawk

Thank you all at Ventnor Blog for your much appreciated help to-night. Very well done.

Why pat the backs of councillors?
I am sorry roud123, but why are you patting the backs of all these councillors, it has been proven that they have lied. Do you normally encourage people to lie? Some of these councillors have failed to respond to the people, and have failed dismally to represent the parents of children in primary schools. I think that the result is ok, but there are still lots of… Read more »
James Pickett
Excellent work, VBlog. I asked a question, but on reflection, I rather wished I’d asked another, because what was never mentioned in all the rhetoric about wonderful 2-tier systems was that the worst-performing LA’s have it, too! Three-tier is only a problem because it doesn’t fit a testing model designed for two tiers (surprise!) but KS testing is falling out of favour anyway and will probably go… Read more »
James Pickett

23 – “We walk our children to school each day”

Very laudable, but that’s not always practical if you live on a main road with no pavements. May I ask how old they are? Did you do that from day 1 when they were four, or was there a convenient village school nearby? Would you send them on bikes, now?

steve s

Hmmm That’s a good idea. Kind of a three tier system! ;-)

Mojo
Regretfully this scenario is all due to money and the welfare and education of our children is secondary.Those councillors who have voted this through must face the consequences of their actions at next May’s elections.(Watch out JF-G as only your Bonchurch chums can save you now!!!) The Lib Dems have achieved their wishes of 2005 and are looking forwarding to regaining power next year!! Meanwhile standards will… Read more »
Jack Tupac Pennington
Dear Islanders, Don’t give up the fight for education even if it means educating your children about the heirarchy of such systems can be infiltrated and changed. They did this same scheme in the United States and you can see how intelligent our young people are! Unfortunately, this debate is a serious offense to democratic rule, because I am assuming no one on the Island was given… Read more »
Jack Tupac Pennington

Proof of what education can ammount to and the hidden meaning in it all an essay neccessary in reading for anybody who wants to understand the outcome of such campaigns
http://www.corneilius.net/pages/educationessay.htm

Man in the Middle

That should read ‘may have learnt punctuation’!

Man in the Middle

I agree with 22. We walk our children to school each day, around 2 miles each way in all weathers. Yes I do own a car… and my children are fit and healthy and not overweight.

gill

19. what right do you have to pick up on people’s education, they have a right to their opinion’s, without be belittled by bullies like you, who also made a mistake my or may

Man in the Middle

And I have a right to my opinion.

Patient Observer

Hooray! Common sense has prevailed!

gill

that you do

roud123
Fair point wptboc! I don’t think the Council have necessarily been very clear in their communication (or perhaps it’s the CP and IOW radio which report badly – thankfully this web site has been v.good), but to say they lie is perhaps a bit harsh. I guess you are referring to their election ‘promise’ which whether or not it was a promise can be debated. But the… Read more »
Sue

Am pleased that we are to go two-tier but am concerned that the High Schools will be far too big. Is anyone interested in campaigning for the building of one or even two new Highs (maybe South or West Wight)?

Olivia
Sue, The stated intention of the Council was that the size of secondaries would be limited by splitting them into two sites, between 11-14 and 14-19 (I think). It is all very well to plan but will have to keep an eye on them to hold them to it, the council doesn’t have a good track record on this education debate. If you have reservations about plans… Read more »
joan

about time lets move on and make a difference

Patient Observer

I agree with 9. It really is time to move on, lets concentrate our efforts on making this a smooth and successful transition for our children. I for one hope and pray that decision makers hold their nerve in the face of such fierce opposition.

Man in the Middle

You have got to admire the councillors, it takes guts to do this mammoth overhaul. And yes it is needed I fully support taking the Island Education System forward and not living in the Dark Ages!

Chalkface
Time now to move forward. Let’s all grasp the nettle and support our hard working councillors and officers in restructuring our failing schools. There will be more winners than losers and as the father of 4 children (one at primary, one at middle, one at high and one in 6th form), I manage to juggle getting my children to their different schools, after-school activities and attending parent… Read more »
Patient Observer
13. Firstly, I do not believe it is totally about money – the changes will cost. We will have input into the transition, or are you intending to let someone else lead and support your children through the changes? Surely their wellbeing is our responsibility, and we have every opportunity to support our local schools via PTA’s, governors and teaching staff. Time to move away from abusing… Read more »
Man in the Middle

And delay the inevitable? Perhaps if there was a decent education system on the Island, then people posting my have learnt punctuation!

joan

this has to be about being far and driving up standards for all rather than a few. l am sure they will hold their nerve and they are only interested in what is right for our students and not corrupt as 12 says.

Chalkface
The notion that by closing schools will put more cars on the road is an absolute diversion and not a proper argument. Those children who will have to travel 2+ miles will be given free bus transport. One bus versus 40 cars – it’s a no brainer. Those who live less than 2 miles away should be obliged to walk, however, in my experience, there are too… Read more »
Patient Observer
Bravo Man in the Middle – the postings on this and other forums demonstrate the desperate need for a decent education system. Gill – the bullying culture that has been displayed on all forums relating to this issue has stopped a proper and open debate about the current situation. Parents who genuinely support change have been shot down by these sites, so only the negative opinions of… Read more »
Drifting Bouy

This is the result I have predicted for ages, and from here, we will, over time move to a complete two tier model im sure. Thank goodness. Its about time our education system was given this wake up call. I fully support the decition.

Patient Observer
Kieran – surely the point of an amended option 3 is that we will not have faceless primary schools, but will retain our small personal schools, be they 1 or 2 form entry. We will be able to attract good teaching staff, as our system will be in line with the rest of the country, rather than depending on a very small pool of 3 tier teachers.… Read more »
roud123
This is a good result and well done to those Cllr’s who voted for this despite the threat to their seats next year – it is good to see politicians vote for the right thing rather than for what is ‘popular’ with those who oppose change and shout the loudest. As parents we must now get behind these changes and participate in the formal consultation to ensure… Read more »
janinshanklin
Though I was very againgst the reforms I realise that change is needed and by listening to what has been said I now think that the decision made tonight is the best scenario for our children as a whole. My 4 year old will be going to a school in September that will still likely to be one of the one closing, and will face all the… Read more »