Letter: Running out of sacrificial lambs

Patsy Lacey is pretty unhappy about how this council has performed in relation to our children

lamb-jumpinjimmyjavaWe always welcome a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers. This one from Patsy Lacey. Ed

Ofsted’s report on the Arrangements for the Protection of Children on the Isle of Wight is the first which lays bare the level of mismanagement by Councillors and Council senior staff on the Island.

So what is the position of children on the Island now?

The Ofsted report on Cowes Enterprise College puts the College into Special Measures. The Principal resigned. This followed the suspension of Janet Newton Deputy Director of Education, apparently held to account for delays in opening the new building.

It is rumoured in the bazaars that Cowes governors and staff were stunned. In Ofsted speak “Notice to Improve” means that the school is aware of its failings and is trying to improve. “Special Measures” means that the school is failing and nobody realises it.

Sandown Academy Ofsted inspection
Ofsted visited Sandown Bay on Tuesday 15 January. It doesn’t take much to predict that the result will either be Notice to Improve or Special Measures.

Do not look for resignation from their Head. Mrs Khan Jones was only appointed in September 2012 to the Academy run by the Academies Enterprise Trust.

She left Carisbrooke College the previous April saying she wanted to go back to a city environment and be close to her family.

Judith Richardson, Chief Executive of the Island Innovation Trust was left without a Head for a term. However she paid for that, the poor GCSE results and telling the truth to Steve Beynon and the Island Innovation Trust with her head (awful pun sorry).

Shaheen Khan Jones obviously missed the challenge in Island education.

Hacked off
Not so her husband, Steve Jones, former Head of Physics at Ryde School. He returned to Hackney’s Mossbourne Academy as Deputy Head in December 2012. This was the post held by Mrs Khan Jones when Sir Michael Wilshaw, now Head of Ofsted, was that Academy Head.

If and when Carisbrooke College is inspected, Inspectors will find a new Head, David Shaw. Assistant Head Stephen Boyd is Assistant Head responsible for Discipline.

New free school
He is one of a consortium applying to open a new school with an accent on discipline. His experience at Carisbrooke will prove useful hopefully.

Medina College employed CfBT at considerable cost, to audit performance. They issued quite an anodyne statement, sometimes it is called damning with faint praise. Presumably the results from recent exams will demonstrate the value of CfBT expertise!

Running out of sacrificial lambs
Council Leader David Pugh and his Chief Executive Steve Beynon who is an expert in education will soon be running out of sacrificial lambs.

Judith Richardson, Janet Newton and Jonathan Russell have all fallen on someone’s sword.

The latest excuses about failing the most vulnerable of our children include blaming Ofsted’s stricter regime. Ofsted have been operating this regime for nearly a year – didn’t anyone notice?

Various grades of inadequacy?
Our responsible Council Member is not standing again so holding her to account is probably a non-starter as she has nothing to lose.

The most damning criticism is that management is inadequate. That starts at the top. David Pugh will be held to account in May, if he decides to tough it out that long.

Chop from the top
Will Mr Beynon continue to cling on to his £150,000+ salary and be thick-skinned enough to wash his hands frequently? His predecessor Joe Duckworth went to another authority at the highest Chief Executive’s salary in the country and from there to be CE of the National League against Cruel Sports. Is the hunting of Steve a matter for Joe now?

If the Island is looking for fast improvements, they are probably doomed to disappointment. Our children deserve better.

Image: Jumpinjimmyjava under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 18th January, 2013 5:33pm


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12 Comments on "Letter: Running out of sacrificial lambs"

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Stewart Blackmore
It should not be forgotten that Cllr. Pugh was the Portfolio Holder for education before Cllr. Cousins accepted the poisoned chalice; both are culpable. So, too, is Mr Beynon who was Director before taking over as Chief Executive. Cllr Cousins Should be held to account – she keeps saying that she did her best, but her best just wasn’t (and isn’t) good enough. With that in mind,… Read more »

Er.. i’s Pete Shaw at Carisbrooke.. Otherwise about right…


Staff at Carisbrooke follow Steph Boyd… out of curiosity…

I agree wholeheartedly with Patsy’s sentiments and the total disgrace at such a level neglect and mismanagement with regard to providing a Framework of Educational opportunity and Safeguarding for this generation of Island Children by Senior Managers in Education,Social Care and the Councillors responsible for overseeing and scrutinising Local Authority Services for Children and Families. In Education they have allowed my old School to be placed in… Read more »
Robert Jones
Not often that a reply is as interesting as the article. I should like to see Crouchie writing about this at even greater length – my own relationship with Social Services, as it then was, goes back to when I was chairman of Medina Housing Association, and we had to deal with them on a regular basis. I was hideously unimpressed at that time (1991 to 1995),… Read more »
Very kind words Robert.I read two serious case review reports (All in the Public Domain) from the Isle of Wight Safeguarding Boards Website.On the Ofstead website you will find the Inspection of Isle of Wight Childrens Services carried out in Oct 2010 and published in Nov2010. In the space of two years it has gone from Adequate to Inadequate.!! With regard to S/Worker retention I would point… Read more »
@crouchie: The system (which you appear to know about…)that was put in place was Director driven rather than Councillor led…. I’m sure you know that. I’ve posted elsewhere that Ian Anderson should go….he has been responsible for overseeing this mess which is right across Social Services…not just childrens services. Particularly, as you point out, with regard to Care Manager posts which have been decimated. In Adult Social… Read more »
Black Dog
What has happened to the Boy Blunder? does he still advise Michael Gove on Education and does he still have his education consultancy with Cratus? I wonder what Cratus’ clients think about the Island Schools (one in Special Measures and another to follow shortly, if it has not done so already)? Now one must question to role Cartus has to play with lobbying for firms that have… Read more »
Black Dog

I see from the CP online headline that Sandown High has gone into Special Measures.

Yet another generation let down by this council. Hang your heads in Shame Pugh, Brown, Beynon, Love and Anderson.

Resign now and avoid further humiliation


Special measures at Sandown are no surprise to locals, we knew this was coming…what will be a surprise when the report is finally public is the depth of just how bad it is.

We now have to start again (from May!) with a brand new head, more community involvment and a restoration of discipline at the school, both for the pupils and the system

Island Monkey
We all knew this was coming. Our education experts Beynon and Pugh must be feeling very sorry for themselves? But where’s their expression of regret at their latest failure? They have known this school was failing for weeks and still chose to say nothing. It beggars belief that the two people in charge, the two people who so often promised to improve education on the Island, have… Read more »
Keith Fagan
What an absolute shame for the kids, parents and teachers at the school. Speaking from experience of the school (I mentored the kids there with Young Enterprise) I can only report that the students I came across were bright, articulate and keen to learn and succeed. Let us hope that Ofsted’s control can swiftly identify and correct the issues and put them back on track. The kids… Read more »