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North Yorks Enquirer

“Eskdale and a Wry Smile”

December 17, 2017 Letters

A Letter to the Editor from Scarborough Borough Councillor Rob BARNETT [Lab.], celebrating the widely-acclaimed OfSTED ‘verdict’ on Eskdale School  – ‘GOOD’.


Dear Editor,

Eskdale and a Wry Smile

The town knew, the students knew, the parents knew, and the NYE and local press knew that Eskdale School was a GOOD school.

The threat to the school came from those that only know a version of “spreadsheet politics.” Of course, they are the very same decision makers that know the “price of everything and the value of nothing.” I refer to the latest OFSTED report – more later. The campaign to save Eskdale School should be applauded and recognised. The axe was about to fall.

I recall that the NYE was present when Cllr Barker and Officer Dwyer launched their attack on the school, their mantra being that it was “not fit for purpose.” This was based on an out of date OFSTED report. Of course, we all knew that the real agenda was to make a quick buck and balance the books. These are shameful criteria to judge what is best for the future of our young people.

Well, I hope Cllr Barker and Mr Dwyer have read the latest OFSTED report! This finds that Eskdale is doing very well and is now categorised as “a GOOD school.” Had the number crunchers got their way, no doubt the school would now be shut and a housing development in progress. Maybe OFSTED should be looking at the performance of NYCC? The proposed hatchet job would have deprived our town of a facility that offers a good education and an exciting and viable choice of secondary schools. After all, parental and student choice has been the focus of Government education policy, in recognition that one size does not fit all. Now the town has a choice between two ‘Good’ schools.

They should apologise, they got it wrong! Of course, given the mindset, there is no guarantee they will get it right in the future. At the very least, they could learn the lesson that it pays to listen to local opinion and local voice on the street. Dogmatic pre-determination does not serve local need. Learn to listen and listen to learn!

Campaigners and people in Whitby should be proud of what they achieved, but an apology would go a long way to restoring trust.

Yours, etc


Cllr Rob Barnett, Whitby. 15th December, 2017.

Download the PDF file ESKDALE_OfSTED_REPORT_2911207.

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