A PRIMARY school governor has blasted County Hall’s "underhand" plans to hive off a large chunk of its playing field — forcing the school to lose a golden opportunity to cash in on the Olympics feel-good factor.
Lanesend Primary School, Cowes, is set to lose two-thirds of the area before the start of term as part of the Isle of Wight Council’s schools capital programme.
The authority stated it does not wish to sell it off and that it wants to make it available for community use.
The smaller part of the field was only being fenced off to define Lanesend's designated, secure sports area and the larger section would remain available to Lanesend by prior agreement and for other community use, said a council spokesman.
The adjoining former Love Lane Primary School premises are currently under consultation for possible use as a tuition centre for pupils with special education needs.
When the field is fenced off, Lanesend will be left space for two junior football pitches, which the council says can be adapted for use as running tracks if necessary, together with high and long jump pits.
IW Council member for the school’s ward, Cllr Roger Mazillius, said the portion of land allocated to Lanesend is ample and that the action will make best use of the play area resources.
But one of the school’s governors, Carrie Almond — mum to a Lanesend pupil — said governors and headteacher Carline Sice were informed the field will be fenced off before the new term starts, without any prior consultation.
Miss Almond, who is awaiting Sport England guidance, criticised the council’s move and was dubious of its intentions.
"This a bombshell for the school. I feel incensed because, off the back of the Olympic Games, the school plans to increase its range of sports and levels of participation — especially with the well publicised obesity problem that exists," she said.
"I’m unhappy such a major decision was taken behind closed doors without our knowledge and during the school holidays. It’s all very underhand. If the land is being allocated for community use, why did they go ahead without informing us?"
Janet Newton, the council’s deputy schools and education services director, said the land could be used by Lanesend Primary by prior agreement and that she would welcome discussion about the issue with governors.