Challenging St Bedes

THIS week Labour councillors on Lincolnshire County Council will challenge the decision of the council’s executive to close St Bede’s Catholic Science College in Boston and expand The Haven High Technology College in Boston.

I want people in Boston to know why we have decided to ask the council to think again. We believe having talked to local people that not enough attention has so far been given to:

l Standards and quality of future education; and

l Consultation with parents/students/community on alternative proposals

What we are concerned about is that two schools – Haven High and Giles Academy – have put in proposals but no real detailed comparison has been made by the council on the merits of the arguments of both schools.

The quality of the education to be provided in future years to children in the Boston area is a vital consideration, such things as the numbers of children who, after leaving school, are quickly into further education, employment or training or go on to university, as well as success in examinations. We need to see an assessment process in place which compares the past performance of both Haven High and the Giles Academy

It is clear from the Save St Bede’s petition signed by over 800 people that there is clear anxiety about the consultation process and the feeling that the views of students, parents, and the local community were not taken into account by executive councillors when the decision was made.

As it stands the council’s current decision to close St Bede’s and expand Haven High is based on expediency not rationality. That is what we want the meeting on Thursday to recognise and do something about.

Clear criteria need to be drawn up to allow an open, transparent assessment of the merits of the case being put by both Haven High and the Giles Academy to be considered. That is what we will be pressing for in the interests of young people in Boston both now and in the future.

COUN ROBERT PARKER

Leader of the Labour Group Lincolnshire County Council