No collusion over Culcheth closure - councillor says

Clr Hitesh Patel

Clr Hitesh Patel

First published in News

A COUNCIL education chief has investigated the reasons behind the closure of Culcheth High School’s Sixth Form following accusations made by a Labour colleague that officers had colluded on the issue.

Clr Hitest Patel, who was appointed as the portfolio holder for children and young people in March following the resignation of Clr Colin Froggatt (Poulton South - LAB), held a meeting on Friday with council officers to discuss the comments.

Clr Chris Vobe (Culcheth, Glazebury and Croft - LAB) accused council officers of ‘colluding’ over ways to build support for the closure of the sixth form.

Clr Patel said: "I have found no evidence of a conspiracy or of collusion by officers of the council. I do believe their comments were taken out of context because I have seen how hard they work for the good of young people of this town."

He added that increased competition from other schools and colleges and a decrease in funding for post-16 education has seen the sixth form struggle to enrol and retain students.

“Whilst the council can refuse Culcheth High School permission to close down the sixth form college it has no powers to say how to run it, how many students to enrol or how many courses should be offered,” said Clr Patel.

“Unless there are compelling reasons, I do wonder just how many letters of complaint we would get from angry parents of 11 to 16 year olds if we tried to force the governors to take funding earmarked for GCSE students’ education to fund a handful of A-level students.”

Comments (3)

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12:04pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Karlar says...

Is this yet another example of the divide and conquer technique so often used by a Council which came to power promising openess and transparency, then promptly went into smoke and mirrors mode? Perhaps they should publish the email exchanges that caused Cllr Vobe to allege "officers had taken their eye off the ball" (a common WBC failing previously) over the decision to dump the sixth form option.
Is this yet another example of the divide and conquer technique so often used by a Council which came to power promising openess and transparency, then promptly went into smoke and mirrors mode? Perhaps they should publish the email exchanges that caused Cllr Vobe to allege "officers had taken their eye off the ball" (a common WBC failing previously) over the decision to dump the sixth form option. Karlar
  • Score: -2

3:35pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Nick Tessla says...

If Chris Vobe and his mummy don't trust their party colleagues to keep the officers in check - why should we?
If Chris Vobe and his mummy don't trust their party colleagues to keep the officers in check - why should we? Nick Tessla
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Thu 3 Apr 14

Karlar says...

Nick Tessla wrote:
If Chris Vobe and his mummy don't trust their party colleagues to keep the officers in check - why should we?
I wonder if this is another twist from the earlier internecine Labour power struggle of which we have yet to hear the detail? The cast seems to be the same.
[quote][p][bold]Nick Tessla[/bold] wrote: If Chris Vobe and his mummy don't trust their party colleagues to keep the officers in check - why should we?[/p][/quote]I wonder if this is another twist from the earlier internecine Labour power struggle of which we have yet to hear the detail? The cast seems to be the same. Karlar
  • Score: 1

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