Councillor says UTC is being favoured over other high schools in Warrington (From Warrington Guardian)
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Councillor says UTC is being favoured over other high schools in Warrington
7:00am Thursday 20th March 2014 in News
VETERAN councillor Colin Froggatt resigned from his post as leader of education over fears the council was seen to be favouring one educational institution over another, the Warrington Guardian understands.
Clr Froggatt raised concerns after land at Winwick Street, valued between £100,000 and £110,000, was offered for free to the University Technical College, which is being sponsored by the University of Chester.
It is also estimated that council staff time spent on the matter would have cost in the region of £50,000.
As reported in last week's Warrington Guardian, the Poulton South councillor quit after last week's meeting of the executive board.
It is understood that Clr Froggatt felt he was left out of the loop during the formulation of policy and strongly disagreed with the council offering support to UTC when other institutions are not given the same help.
Clr Froggatt said: “Warrington has a surplus of secondary school places in Warrington. The 2014 intake alone shows surplus places of 300 across Warrington's secondary schools.
“This is further amplified by vacant places across previous year groups. It is estimated that a UTC will take £1million in school places from current secondary schools.
“We seem to be living in a topsy-turvy world where the primary school estate is being underprovided and the proposal is to over provide places to the secondary estate which the council is further financing.”
Clr Terry O’Neill, leader of Warrington Borough Council, said: “As part of the bid to locate a UTC in the town centre, the council has agreed to contribute a small parcel of land.
“This has the effect of levering government financial support of £10 million to construct and fit out the UTC.”
“The recent Skills Commission in the borough reported that there is a shortage of engineers and the establishment of the UTC will greatly assist in closing this skills gap and will generate further business growth and jobs for local people.”
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