You Don’t Qualify

This meeting was rescheduled post snow and was the final Scrutiny meeting on the budget for 2010-11.  Most of this work had been previously done. This was just the final part of the process before it goes to Cabinet and then Full Council.

A couple of Councillors wanted to know what the £1m critical risk savings were. I may have not understood the answer, but for me, they didn’t explain well where this saving was going to be. I can’t have been the only one, as the same question was repeated by other Councillors. Maybe I am just not clever enough to have understood the answer.

An item on the Agenda was about BSF (building schools for future). We were told just before Christmas that we had been turned down, but it now seems (as reported at this weeks Cabinet) that we have been re-invited to submit another application.

I fully welcome this, but I have a problem in how Schools “qualify” for this. I asked a questions about Helston Community College (large school with over 1800 pupils) and if it was going to be selected. I was told it did not qualify. Why I asked? Well, it seems the way schools are selected is if  the school is failing (in results) and is in an area of “Social Economic Deprivation”.

What a load of BS. A school that tries so hard to educate it’s pupils is penalised.  The building is in a poor state of repair, its over 40 years old and makes do with the limited funds it has. As for the other part of criteria, well, the South West of Cornwall is historically an area of low paid jobs with high house prices. We are hardly all driving around in flash new cars and having several holidays a year.

Why can’t schools just be judged fairly on the age and state of its building and not on this social policy of the poorer you are the more you get.  I would just like it to be a fair scheme. It’s hardly a incentive for our teachers. Are they saying don’t work and don’t educate our children because if you don’t, then you will get more money! That’s not the right message to send out.

I was told that Helston is (that’s a lose ‘is’) in line for the next round, but we don’t know when the next round is, or if there will even be a next round. Helston School is one of the largest schools in West Cornwall, it’s building is old and in dire need of a rebuild. I guess it will just have to continue waiting for this much needed money. Maybe we will qualify when my son’s children are at school (he is 7).

One comment

  • Charlotte MacKenzie

    Andy, Labour's timetable is to rebuild all secondary schools by 2020, and even improve those built in the last fifteen years. The new Penryn College was built through BSF. Obviously the Council has to schedule a manageable programme of work, but they should not imply the funding is restricted or the BSF timetable isn't known – it's published, and the Council decides what schools and bids to put forward first.

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