Colyton Grammar School

I don’t support the Government’s extra funding for grammar schools, including Colyton – especially while non-selective local schools are under acute funding pressure

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Colyton Parish Council has asked me for my views on the report that Colyton Grammar School is one of 16 grammar schools which will share £50 million money to expand, and I’ve replied as follows:

Colyton Grammar School is an excellent school and as County Councillor for Seaton and Colyton, I support its case for improved funding for its ongoing activities, as I do for all local schools. However I do not support the Government’s £50 million extra funding to expand grammar schools and I am disappointed that Colyton Grammar School put itself forward for this controversial scheme. Additional capital funding should benefit the education of all children, rather than being used to expand a small number of selective schools. It is not right that Colyton Grammar School should benefit from millions of additional funding purely because it is a selective school, when under-pressure local schools which are open to all children receive no funding boost. I also share residents’ concerns that expansion of the school would exacerbate the traffic problems which bussing pupils to and from the school already cause in Colyford, and to which no solutions have yet been found.

I’ve asked Colyton Grammar School and LED to find a way to continue much-valued daytime dance and fitness classes

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LED class at Colyton GrammarI have been approached by many users of Leisure East Devon dance and fitness classes held at Colyton Leisure Centre, who are angry about proposals under discussion by Colyton Grammar School (of which the centre is part) to end LED’s use of it on two mornings each week, which enables these classes to take place.
The users, 170 of whom have signed a petition to the school, are rightly concerned that this change has been under discussion between the school and LED for 9 months without their being consulted, yet it could be implemented as early as Christmas.
Today I met with the Headteacher, Mr Tim Harris, and Chair of the school’s Trustees, Mr Barry Sindall, to present the users’ concerns. They reassured me that they remain committed to community use of the centre, that evening, weekend and holiday activities are not affected, and that there will be no early move to change the dance studio into a fitness centre.
However I remain very concerned that the morning classes, which are highly valued by local people and make a contribution to local wellbeing resources, could be ended precipitately. I have urged the school and LED, whose CEO Mr Peter Gilpin assures me they wish to continue the classes, to find a way in which the daytime classes under threat can be maintained. They are apparently meeting soon and as soon as I hear anything further I will post it.

Seaton Primary faces £34k cut

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img_9530-1220x640I have now seen figures (sent to schools as part of the consultation) which show the losses local schools would have taken if the new National Funding Formula had been implemented in 2016-17:

  • SEATON PRIMARY SCHOOL (right) £34,000 (-2.7% of total allocation)
  • COLYTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL £81,000 (-2.9%)

Axe Valley Community College funding would have been almost the same as existing (+0.1%), and Colyton Primary School would have seen a small (+0.7%) rise.

As Independent County Councillor Claire Wright said, the new system is supposed to be ‘fairer’ – but many East Devon schools are losing out! We need to press our MP, Neil Parish, to ensure that local schools are protected from cuts when the new system finally comes in next year.

The Department for Education’s consultation documents can be found here