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."

Reporter: martinn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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