Friday, March 28, 2008

Rogate School II

Further to my blog on the WSCC consultation on Rother Valley Schools, the District Council passed the following resolution at the Full Council meeting on 25th March 2008. This resolution constitutes the formal position of Chichester District Council on the Rother Valley Schools' Consultation by West Sussex County Council. You will see that the District Council formally asks the County Council to reconsider its conclusion that Rogate School is not viable,

"Accordingly the resolutions were as follows: That Council supports the restructuring of primary education in the Rother Valley to implement the change in age of transfer subject to:

(a) Appropriate supervision on school buses to ensure the safe transport of young children between home and school;

(b) Reassurance being given to all school staff and head teachers that they will be fairly treated in any redeployment that follows restructuring; and

(c) A re-examination of the viability of Rogate and Northchapel as all-through 4 to 11 schools.

(2) That Council supports the establishment of an academy to replace the three existing secondary schools subject to:

(a) In appointing the senior leadership team of the academy, the claims of the senior leadership teams of the three schools are given special consideration;

(b) The new local governing body contains strong representation of parents and the community; and

(c) The academy in its outreach work with primary schools makes provision for specialist teaching skills for Year 6."

Thursday, March 20, 2008

South Downs National Park Enquiry

I gave evidence on behalf of Milland, Rogate and Linch at the South Downs National Park Enquiry in Worthing today. I summarised the points which I made in my letter to the Secretary of State (which may be found at Nigel Johnson-Hill also gave evidence on behalf of Milland Parish Council.

In summary, we argued that the Rother and Milland Valleys were special places, worthy of inclusion in the National Park on their own merits. We attacked the distinctly misguided statements which the County Council has been issuing against the National Park. I refuted some of the points that the inspector had made in his report on the National Park where he argued against the inclusion of both the Rother Valley and Milland Valley. I was impressed that he (he is chairing the enquiry in person) was prepared to listen to both Nigel and I. He appeared genuinely receptive to our points and arguments.

We need to continue to work to ensure that we make our feelings on the need to preserve our part of England known. I'm optimistic that right will triumph over narrow self interest and that we will secure the Weald and Downs for future generations of our countrymen.

Happy Easter,


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Preserving Village Schools

I know that many of you are concerned by the proposal by West Sussex County Council to close Rogate School. I attended the open meeting at Rogate School where we were addressed by the County education officer and was impressed by the degree of public support shown for the school.

To be clear, WSCC is entirely separate from Chichester District Council. I am your District Councillor and the County Council is i/c schools, not the District Council. Nola Hendon, your County Councillor, is leading the campaign to keep a primary school in Rogate. I support her campaign.

For my views on how I think our primary education may best evolve, please see my letter to Mr Dunn at the County Council at