Day 188 – The Public Have Spoken

November 3, 2009

The long-awaited consultation report has been published – all 201 pages and 6MB of it. The link to it is here.

And what does it say? Well of course it recommends a change to two-tier, as we knew all along it would. After all, we have just had the worst example of a non-consultation process that many of us have experienced.

What is interesting is that 57% of responses were in favour of three-tier overall, rising to 66% amongst parents/carers of current pupils. And this, remember, is despite the overwhelming and public display of support for two-tier by the lower and upper school Heads.

So it is clear that those parents who are experiencing the current system and who understand its value have voted overwhelmingly in favour of retention.

This could be a disastrous decision that causes chaos in Bedford’s education system, just like it has done in Northampton and Suffolk recently, both of which are now failing authorities. It could also cause financial meltdown in our schools as budgets are diverted to supporting an ill-planned and under-funded switch.

The Borough Education Officers have ignored the public. The councillors should be aware of the unpopularity of this decision. We urge everyone to contact all councillors urgently, especially their own plus the Executive and Roger Rigby (the Speaker who may have the casting vote in a Full Council debate). Let them know your strongly-held views as this decision can be changed by public protest.

Members of the Executive who make the first decision on Wed 11th are Dave Hodgson, Charles Royden, Barry Huckle, Michael Headley, David Sawyer, Nicky Attenborough, Nick Charsley, Sue Oliver and Will Hunt – their details may be found here.

Spread the word amongst your friends and family !

Can we do it? Yes we can !

Perhaps it is also worth mentioning now that the two online petitions stand at 1129 for three-tier and 161 (currently) for two-tier. Maybe that last figure will go up slightly now in response to this blog…but then our petition has closed, so we regard this as the final result (plus another 9000 or so written signatures, about 7000 of which made it into the report, the others being collected afterward July 24th).

Confirmation of the decision making process

The Executive will consider this on Wednesday 11th November at 6:30 in the Harpur Suite, Corn Exchange. Details are here. Members of the public may attend and ask questions of the Executive.

Should the Executive recommend a change to two-tier, then Full Council will consider this at a special meeting on Monday 16th November at 6:30 in the Harpur Suite, Corn Exchange. We would strongly urge you to attend this meeting. More details will be posted on this blog should they become relevant and when they are available.