18 May 2017

Unanimous support for Sandown education

The Isle of Wight Council has given its unanimous support to a motion to protect the future of secondary education in Sandown.

Following the decision of the school’s operators, Academies Enterprise Trust (AET) to merge it with Ryde Academy an extraordinary meeting of the Full Council was held yesterday (Wednesday) to discuss the issue. All members present voted to ask the government to remove education trust, AET, from the role of managing any school on the Island – and to take steps to either establish or promote and encourage the establishment of an accountable new local body to take on the management and running of Sandown Bay Academy.

A number of outline options have already been identified by senior education officers to preserve the school and are being worked on in detail with the Cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Chris Whitehouse, and council leader, Councillor Dave Stewart. The options will now be worked into full business cases as a matter of urgency, and progress will be reported back.

Speaking today, Councillor Chris Whitehouse, said: “The unanimous support for this motion sends a clear and unambiguous message to ministers, to the schools commissioner and to AET, that Sandown wants, needs and should have its own secondary school. We are determined to do all that we can to deliver that.”

In an amendment proposed by Councillor Whitehouse to the original motion, the Full Council saluted the students of Sandown Bay Academy on their stalwart defence of their school; praised the parents for their passion and perseverance in promoting the need for secondary education in Sandown; welcomed the support from the staff of the school, teaching and non-teaching alike, for the need to resist the proposed merger of the school with Ryde and to end secondary education in Sandown.

Full Council expressed its renewed commitment to do all in its power to ensure that secondary education is retained in Sandown for the students of Sandown Bay Academy and for future generations of local children.

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    Unanimous support for secondary education in Sandown
    Unanimous support for secondary education in Sandown
    • Councillors voted unanimously in support of the motion at a meeting of the Full Council.
    Sandown Isle of Wight