Good school complains over ‘discrimination’

By Martin Neville

Friday, May 16, 2014


Good school complains over ‘discrimination’

The opening of the college sixth form last December.

A SENIOR IW councillor has written to education chiefs complaining about "blatant discrimination" against a high school.

Amid millions spent on Cowes Enterprise College, Cllr Chris Whitehouse said Christ the King College, in his Newport West ward, had been starved of funding for its new sixth form building.

Cllr Chris Whitehouse, the Conservative education spokesman who has children at the school, said: "Ever since its inauguration, Christ the King College has been blatantly discriminated against in the allocation of financial resources on the IW.

"This must now stop and Christ the King students should be treated equally to students in other schools, where vast fortunes have been spent on under-occupied buildings.

"Christ the King, a school which is knocking on the door of outstanding according to Ofsted, is understandably bursting at the seams and some of its classrooms were wholly inappropriate for the age of the students and the stage of their studies."

Cllr Whitehouse stressed he was not making party political capital out of the issue.

"That the local education authority has systematically refused any significant funding for the new sixth form building is the latest example of this discrimination."

Chair of governors, David Lisseter, said securing an appropriate building for sixth form students had been hugely challenging.

He said: "To date, we have received no funding of any significance to assist with the costs of leasing and fitting out the new facilities.

"Governors have found this particularly frustrating, given the huge sums committed to other high schools on the Island.

"We are a highly successful and oversubscribed school and have only ever requested, and will continue to request, fair and equal treatment to support our students."

Cllr Richard Priest, executive member for children’s services, said: "Hampshire/IW Children’s Services is working extremely hard to understand and find solutions to a considerable range of pre-existing challenges in terms of school revenue, capital and surplus places, as well as school improvement, to bring the IW’s school system into balance.

"As part of this process, the council will be consulting all Island secondary schools regarding secondary places and sixth form provision and Christ the King will be fully involved in this process.

"We will then be in a better position to allocate resources where they are most needed.

"We continue to strive to ensure all children on the IW are educated in good or outstanding schools and this remains our priority."



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by Valerie Ching

17th May 2014, at 12:13:03

The nation's newspeak - literally "news"peak continues to amuse and confuse my tiny mind. I am knocking on the door of understanding but often get no reply. Though, unlike Hampshire/IW Children's Service, I am clearly not working extremely hard to understand. I haven't tried the door of outstanding yet. Challenges, balancing, striving and resources allocation, shall we say in terms of education has a rather medieval ring to it I think. Thankfully no mention of "issues around". Seriously, everyone has to work together rather than in-fighting and even then I'm not optimistic for the future as the state schools are now outsourced to so many different bodies that IW council has responsibilities but no power.

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by Neil Rogers

17th May 2014, at 05:36:34

Knocking on the door of outstanding .... Really ??

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by John Smith

16th May 2014, at 22:36:05

Is it not better to focus money on improving the other failing secondary schools rather than plough more money into CtK a 'almost outstanding' school. Schools shouldn't be allowed to be'bursting at the seams', there are plenty of free spaces in other schools for this not to be an issue. CtK should just say no once optimal class size is met. Is it not a little bit of a conflict on interests anyhow is Cllr Whitehouse has children at the school? Asking for more funding for a school your kids go to, doesn't sound right to me. The independents are trying to sort out the mess his party left the education system in anyhow.

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by Jane Dee

16th May 2014, at 18:20:40

If the school is oversubscribed was the imtake been increased from 200 to 270!

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by tony white

16th May 2014, at 15:36:15

who designated this clown as "a senior councillor", i didn't realise that they had ranks now apart from if they are in or out of a cabinet. got to give him credit though, he doesn't miss a chance to blow his own trumpet

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by i young

16th May 2014, at 13:05:47

Pot kettle black. Of course ctk don't

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by Helen Bailey

16th May 2014, at 11:10:30

So once again the CP manages to get a dig into CEC in an article about its pet school. The funding for CEC came from central govt as part of its Pathfinder programme. This was canned when the coalition came in and Gove set about reneging on agreed funding for many schools in the UK. Cowes was one of the lucky ones as its existing building was in such poor shape and it desperately needed a new one. CtK wasn't overlooked then as it didn't exist - Trinity and ABK were individual schools. I respect Cllr Whitehouse's stance, he is after all doing his job for his constituency and he will know better than most the ins and outs of budget allocation. We all know that CEC has financial matters to resolve some of which it seems can be addressed with the remains of the existing funding. There are other secondary schools on the Island that also need funding and that was noted in Cllr Priest's comments. But it's disingenuous of the CP to imply that somehow CEC has benefitted at CtK's expense.

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by Tom Spragg

16th May 2014, at 10:12:44

Peter, I think "senior" refers to the fact he is an old fart

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by Peter Truman

16th May 2014, at 09:41:04

Why is he described as a senior councillor? What official position does he hold in the council? He is only senior in his own mind.

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by Leigh Perry

16th May 2014, at 09:23:30

Can't they just pray a bit harder?

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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