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rydeacademyschoolThe Isle of Wight Council is welcoming queries, comments and challenges that are beginning to come in as part of the recently launched consultation on school and post-16 places. 

The consultation was launched on 26th January and runs until 30th April, with a number of public meetings planned – the first at Carisbrooke College at 18:00 tomorrow (Tuesday 3rd February).

Isle of Wight Council leader and Executive member for children’s services, Jonathan Bacon, said:

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“We are already seeing a steady stream of emails as part of the consultation with various comments and queries including challenges to the accuracy of some information. I really welcome the fact that the full public engagement has now started and that people are taking the time to read and respond.

“It will be through this robust public scrutiny, in which I hope many people on the Island will engage, that everyone should ultimately be satisfied that we are considering all the relevant and accurate information and that this is a full and open consultation where all views will be listened to and considered.”

As a result of feedback so far the council is amending the figures quoted on page 6 of the consultation document in relation to the percentage of A-Level leavers who move onto higher education.

The figures quoted related only to those young people at a college of whom 27%. The figures that should have been shown are for all young people in schools and colleges. These are 43% of Isle of Wight leavers moving to higher education compared to 53% nationally. Recently released (Tuesday 27 January) figures from the DfE for the 2012/13 academic year shows the national average for all young people in schools and colleges has dropped to 48% which the Isle of Wight average has risen to 45%.

This will be corrected on the page where the consultation document and supporting data can be found.

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Councillor Bacon added:

“I want to thank the member of the public who first brought this to our attention. This has enabled us to make the necessary changes at a very early stage of the consultation. It was an error on our behalf for which we apologise.

“The overriding message remains the same though – that we are still behind the national averages on this and other key outcomes for our young people and improvements need to be made.”

The Frequently Asked Questions section of the consultation web pages at will be constantly updated to ensure it covers all queries raised during the consultation. There will also be messages posted should something new be added, including further information and background materials. There will also be a page that explains any corrections or changes to the consultation document – what they were and when they were made.

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