Letter: Why can’t we have 16+ education that suits Isle of Wight needs?

Leader of the Isle of Wight LibDems asks why can’t we have 16+ education that suits the needs and wishes of the Island? A diverse education system across the Island for a diverse population.

nick stuart lib dem

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Leader of the Isle of Wight Liberal Democrats Nick Stuart shares his views. Ed

Why can’t we have 16+ education that suits the needs and wishes of the Island? A diverse education system across the Island for a diverse population.

Why does the Isle of Wight Council want to put all 6th Form education in Newport? Apparently economies of scale and choice for subjects means we have to consolidate all academic teaching in one centre.

Local choice
How about local choice, individual centre styles, transport time and costs and the problems of one leadership team and style. Do we want all our eggs in one Newport basket? We’ve seen any number of headteachers appear, mess up and vanish to trust one centre.

Recently on the Island we had state 16+ education in Sandown, Ryde, Cowes, Isle of Wight College, Christ the King, Carisbrooke and Medina.

With and without IWC support
The VIth Form Innovation College pulled in Medina and Carisbrooke and is the favoured centre with substantial Council support.

Sandown 6th form was removed after Sandown Bay Academy itself was saved with pressure from the community, and eventually the active involvement of the Council. Anyone who knows the successes of Sandown 6th form can see that loss was a major disaster.

The Isle of Wight College 6th form went down, with no active Council support.

Christ the King College was originally asked to deliver 6th form education, but the Council failed to support that and threatens them with loss of financial help after the college’s somewhat naive approach to leasing the building.

Or the Cowes Enterprise College fiasco with the appalling building delivery, written off debt and the hundreds of thousands of pounds lost by paying the builder after it went under.

No support for Studio School
The Isle of Wight Studio School also planned to expand to 6th form provision but the Council have refused to try and help save the school, and by default another possible rival to the Council vision falls by the wayside.

You get the picture of the Council stepping in to save its blushes alongside a hidden and undemocratic agenda.

Watch out!
In Christ the King the Head and Governers must be worried, and if I was in Cowes or Ryde Academy I’d worry who was next in the firing line.

While anyone else challenging the Council provision of academic 6th form education better watch out!

Could be so different
And it could be so different. Surely it is better to deliver education closer to pupils using cooperative approaches for different centres. Different management approaches, different subject choices and less travel might ensure that the majority of students who don’t go to University, the less affluent and the home educated might engage with schools and colleges to their own and our communtiy’s benefit.

Transparency note. I was in high school teaching recently at several Island schools, have family at Christ the King, and coach Fencing at other schools.

Friday, 25th May, 2018 9:41am


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Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Letter to the Editor

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