Vote of no confidence in Cowes Enterprise College principal

By Emily Pearce

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Vote of no confidence in Cowes Enterprise College principal

Cowes Enterprise College principal Rebecca Pearce. Picture by Peter Boam.

A VOTE of no confidence in Cowes Enterprise College principal Rebecca Pearce was overwhelmingly carried by school staff.

More than 50 staff attended a union-organised meeting last night (Wednesday), to discuss redundancies and pay cuts proposed by school bosses.

As previously reported, 26 support staff and five teachers face redundancy as the school tries to cut a projected budget deficit of almost £900,000, blamed on falling student numbers. Those who escape the cull face pay cuts of thousands of pounds.

Union bosses said staff had no confidence in Ms Pearce’s leadership and were dismayed by a lack of clarity and communication regarding the proposed restructure. They called for an urgent meeting with governors.

The governing body and Ormiston Academies Trust, due to take over the school in September, issued a joint statement: "Unhappiness is inevitable during periods of challenge and change, but the principal is focused on getting the best possible education for the students at the college within the available resources.

"The principal has received very positive feedback, including from Ofsted. We will do all we can to achieve a resolution satisfactory to all."

Isle of Wight NUT secretary John McGee said: "The changes are being implemented with unseemly haste. There has been no clarity on the new job roles, no explanation of how the new structure will work."

Unison branch secretary Mark Chiverton said support staff felt particularly undervalued after Ms Pearce publicly questioned their impact.

"No-one voted in support of the principal, who has failed to explain the rationale behind the restructure or her role in devising it. Staff are dismayed by the multiple issues at the school, which are further undermining its reputation in the eyes of parents and the community," he said.

A similar vote of no confidence in chair of governors Rachael Fidler had been considered, but not taken, to give the governing body a chance to respond, said Mr Chiverton.

A public meeting to discuss building problems that have plagued the £32 million publicly-funded school building, called for by the Isle of Wight County Press, is to be held at Cowes Enterprise College on Monday.

The meeting starts at 6pm and is open to all.


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by Mat Thomas

25th April 2014, at 19:38:36

The time is up for this particular Principal, particularly because of her U turn and capitulation in not supporting her Students after their protest. Also turning her back on parents and staff who agreed with them.

The time is up for the Fidler too.

The whole sorry episode of the Enterprise can no longer be left with the existing decision makers, the Council, the Academy, Hampshire or Gove and OFSTED they are all proven to be failures.

The decisions are to be passed over to the Public through this meeting and forum.

This being the case the Public forum should be prepared to come up with a strategy and not just sit there listening to the "experts" they should carefully consider the way forward and suggest acceptable solutions and become the decision makers.

They will have to consider the costs and what will be acceptable to the taxpayers of the island.

They will have to do it for the sake of the children's education and their futures.

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by Colin Barton

25th April 2014, at 15:26:17

She should go!

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by Z Morgan

25th April 2014, at 10:40:28

My son is due to attend this school in 2 years time. I pray it improves or I shall seriously consider moving back to the mainland for him to have a decent chance of an education not dogged by arguments; ineptitude; political squabbling and turnover of staff more frequent than one would expect to find at the local supermarket.

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by Patrick Hall

24th April 2014, at 22:51:18

What an unenviable job for the Principal. Seems like a poisoned chalice to me.

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by kevin froment

24th April 2014, at 18:38:01

going to different schools andrew, lots go to the mainland now because its the only way they can get a decent education, i know its a long time ago but cowes high used to be a great school, run by the headmaster and year heads and parent governors. what happened to change all that

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by Andrew Duggan

24th April 2014, at 17:39:03

How can we have falling student numbers when we have increasing numbers of young people?

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by Andrew Duggan

24th April 2014, at 17:38:58

How can we have falling student numbers when we have increasing numbers of young people?

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by David Franks

24th April 2014, at 15:43:23

The students have expressed their opposition to the staff restructuring by taking the brave step of going out on strike. The staff have "overwhelmingly" expressed their opposition in this vote of no confidence. When will the parents be given their opportunity?
The meeting scheduled for Monday will be dominated - understandably - by questions about the "management" of the building development project.
I understand the consultation period ends shortly but there is still no word from the school to indicate how parents can voice their concerns.

But, even if the parents are finally given a say, whether anyone listens is another matter.

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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