Island MP blasts former council chief

By David Newble

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

 

THE former chief executive of the Isle of Wight Council, Steve Beynon, has come under fire from the Island’s MP for the current state of education on the Island.

Andrew Turner said Mr Beynon, who was made redundant after his chief executive post was abolished, had 'a great deal to answer for' for the state of the Island’s education system.

Mr Turner has invited two Island councillors to accompany him to a meeting with the government’s education minister, Lord Nash, tomorrow (Wednesday).

The meeting will explore ways in which the Island’s MP can help the Department for Education support Island schools in need of additional help after going into special measures.

He said: "In my view, the most important issue facing the council is supporting the Island’s schools to improve. At the moment, it is unclear what will happen on the council and who will be responsible for each policy area.

"However, I am sure councillors will want to work together on this so, with Lord Nash’s agreement, I have invited representatives from the Independent and Conservative groups to join us at the meeting. I am pleased they have both accepted."

He added: "There are many challenges facing our education system. We have three secondary schools judged as failing by Ofsted, another has been issued with a notice to improve and we are awaiting the outcome of another inspection.

"Christ the King College is doing well but that means only a minority of Island children are receiving the high-quality education they have a right to expect.

"In my view, there has been too much energy expanded on changing the structure of the school system, and an unhealthy obsession with new school building instead of a steely focus on what is going on in the classroom.

"The recently departed chief executive, Steve Beynon, was responsible for our education system since he arrived on the Island in 2007 and took charge of re-organisation. He has a great deal to answer for."

Reporter: davidn@iwcpmail.co.uk

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