Schools split over the future of secondary and sixth form provision

Outcomes from the recent schools consultation are now public. Members of the Scrutiny Committee will have to consider the responses from schools and members of the public before sharing their views with the Executive.

Success and failure

Members of the Isle of Wight council Scrutiny Committee will receive a presentation by officers on Thursday evening following the recent school consultation.

Over a period of twelve weeks, the council held a series of public consultation meetings, setting out the current position and calling on members of the public to share their views on the options presented for the future of secondary school and post-16 provision.

Views to be shared with Executive
Members will be asked to consider the outcomes of the consultation and offer their views on the possible 11-16 options and their views on the suggested post-16 position to the Executive.

Representation has been received from all schools, as well as the Catholic and Church of England Diocese, local planning authority, Newport Parish Council, Cllrs Blezzard, Gilbey and Priest, Southern Vectis and the NUT (Appendix 5 embedded below).

No merger needed at Medina and Carisbrooke
The Island Innovation Trust, who oversee Medina and Carisbrooke Colleges express their preference for the two Colleges to remain on their current sites, with post-16 provision being offered at the Nodehill site.

The Trust and Governing Body say after considering all options, they believe they have a financially sustainable future with the need for a merger of the two colleges onto a single site.

Possible sixth form merger at Ryde Academy
One option for change presented by Academies Enterprise Trust, the sponsor for Sandown Bay and Ryde Academy, is for the sixth form offer from both academies to be provided on one site at Ryde Academy. This vision was first presented to the council in May 2012.

AET also say they support both options one and two as set out in the consultation document and would work with the Education Funding Agency to ensure investment in a new building would provide exceptional facilities for 1,500 pupils at Ryde and 1,200 pupils at Sandown Bay.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” say College
Governors at the Isle of Wight College recognise the need for change and say “doing nothing is not an option”.

They believe a small number of larger providers for A-level education would be in the best interests of students. One or two centres would enable the providers to offer the highest quality learning experience, they say.

The College’s preferred proposal is for the introduction of tertiary model of education with a single sixth form college, the college offering a range of vocational education and secondary schools offering just key stage 3 and 4 provision.

Impact on public transport
Southern Vectis say the merger of Medina and Carisbrooke would have a significant impact on public transport, pointing out the Medina site is currently well-served by public transport, whereas the Carisbrooke site is less so.

The company go on to say that concentrating post-16 provision on one site would also have a significant impact on public transport. Should that option be chosen, the company would need to work at an early stage with the council to review their current network.

Local planning authority
Although the planning authority does not offer objection or support for any of the options, it does have concerns about the impact to the highways network should there be any change to the provision of education on any of the current sites.

Read the reports
Full details of the consultation can be found in the papers below.

Click on the full screen icon to see larger version.

Scrutiny Committee June 2015 Paper C

Scrutiny Committee June 2015 Paper C – Appendix 5

Paper C – AIsle of Wight Education Consultation 26 Jan – 30 Apr 2015ppendix 6[1]

Article edits
16th June at 10.23am – removed reference to subject being discussed at Executive committee.

Image: Chris Potter under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 16th June, 2015 8:53am

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Filed under: Education, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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9 Comments on "Schools split over the future of secondary and sixth form provision"

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Geoff Lumley

This issue is NOT on next week’s Executive agenda. It will go, after Scrutiny Committee feedback from this Thursday’s meeting, to Full Council on 8 July.

Geoff Lumley

At a packed Scrutiny Committee last night the committee voted overwhelmingly (8:1) to recommend that the Full Council on 8 July support Option 1 – to keep ALL our secondary schools open. The one against was Cllr Chris Whitehouse, who supports the closure of Carisbrooke College in his ward. Cllr Baker-Smith abstained.

Caconym

So, the majority of respondents want to keep both secondary and sixth form provision as it currently is.

This was a foregone conclusion. Parents and students have had enough of being messed around and are still suffering after the 3-tier to 2 tier fiasco.

To paraphrase Pink Floyd: “Hey, Council, leave them kids alone”!

Colin
Plenty to read through there. IMO the best was left to last and Appendix 6 is an interesting read. There are many sensible suggestions contained in there but I suspect that as ever the IW Council will choose to ignore them all. They appear to be a closed book with only one or two ideas that they want to push on with despite being hopelessly out of… Read more »
Ali Hayden.
I find it absolutely unbelievable that over this consultation period that was held over 3 months, many parents of Island school children did not attend the information evenings held at every single secondary school, with even an extra at West Wight. There also does not appear to have been an awful lot who even took part in the online consultation, which I have taken part in and… Read more »
DP
I think you’ll find that like me, many parents did engage with the consultation last time when they were discussing changing from a three tier to a two tier system. I went to many meetings, spoke up for my children, warned the council what would happen if they went ahead with their plans. I was totally ignored along with all the other parents ( and teachers who… Read more »
Ali Hayden.
DP, I totally respect your points on the previous reorganisation of the change from a 3 tier to a 2 tier system. I do however disagree with some of your view on the outcome. So huge was the objection from parents, pupils, staff + nurseries that the Island saw one of the biggest demonstrations ever held, at the severity of so many lovely village primary schools set… Read more »
DP
Ali, I appreciate your view, but I firmly believe that the council knew they would not be shutting all the primary schools they identified as ‘at risk’. When parents then heard that a few primary schools had been ‘saved’. This then looked as though the council had been listening, when really it took the focus on the fact that they were closing many other local primary schools… Read more »
David

We have run a consultation exercise and the overwhelmingly popular response (64% I believe) is to retain all 6 of our schools and adjust their sizes. It makes sense, the people have spoken. Why would we consult and then ignore the responses? Well done to all those members of Scrutiny for their actions last night.