The two page policy note identifies the Conservatives’ objective that “all our young people have the opportunity to aspire to excellence so that they can each fulfil their potential”; goes on to set out the approach the council group will follow to achieve that objective; and identifies the clear policy steps that they will be taking.
Speaking today, Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Dave Stewart, says:
“Our approach is clear. We will work to ensure that all Island students attend schools, colleges and training providers that are good or better (as assessed by Ofsted); that they have access to the full range of education and training opportunities; and that the policies of the Isle of Wight Council reflect and support this approach.”
Commenting in more detail, Cllr Chris Whitehouse (Newport West Ward) who leads for the Conservatives on Education Policy adds:
“We are very clear about how we will achieve our objective by
- Challenging and supporting the members and officers of the current Administration to make available to our learning providers the support, advice, encouragement and resources that they need to improve standards for all our children.
- Engaging with learning providers across the Island, regardless of their formal structure, to identify ways in which they can be assisted on their own journey through continuous improvement; and by championing their interests to those who make the decisions.
- Promoting parity of opportunity for all Island students regardless of their geographic location, family background, faith, race or any special needs they may have.
- Participating fully in the working of the Scrutiny function of the Isle of Wight Council and, where appropriate, parish councils, school governing bodies and other relevant forums, to encourage, nurture and challenge the whole Island community to be part of a culture of aspiration for our youngsters.
- Working with the Island MP, Andrew Turner, to maintain a constructive and open dialogue with Government Ministers and senior officials in Westminster and Whitehall so that their ongoing engagement with and support for the Island’s education provision is secured.
“We now have a clear approach on standards and the need to drive them up; structures and resources; the need to respect and support the decisions of individual schools on matters like converting to academies; the imperative to address over-capacity in our high schools and sixth forms; and the problems with the Cowes Enterprise College building. We will not shirk our responsibilities to take clear decisions in the best interests of Island children.”
The Education Policy paper is the first of a series of such policy notes expected to be published by the Conservative Group over coming months. Conservative Group leader Cllr Dave Stewart explained:
“We are seeking to play a constructive role in Island politics, feeding in constructive and positive ideas to help the current, floundering, independent administration focus on the key priorities for the Island and its residents. This is the first of a series of clear, focused papers we will be publishing.”
The document can be downloaded here.