Email from Conservative Counsellor for Kenley, Steven Hollands
Further to the earlier emails.
There isn’t an awful lot more I can add to what has already been said about the transfer of Roke to an academy from the LEA perspective. However, I can confirm that the LEA brokered the link between Roke and Riddlesdown and this was encouraged by the council. The Council put Riddlesdown forward as the preferred solution to the DfE once it was known that the school would be transferred to an academy. The DfE haven’t taken any notice of the views of the LEA, Riddlesdown or Roke when the Sceretary of State (SOS) made the decision with regard to Harris. The work undertaken to improve the school by the LEA, Roke leadership team and Riddlesdown appears to have been ignored.
From a local democracy perspective the SOS has not acted in an open and transparent way and has not given the reasons for his view.I am pleased that Richard, as our local MP, has taken the whole issue up with the SOS and I believe Richard met with him last week. I hope that Richard will receive a proper response on behalf of his residents and I look forward to seeing it. I am given to understand from the LEA that there isn’t a route of appeal against the SOS’s decision and that the SOS has acted within the powers he has in statute.
We can’t ignore that the standards of education at Roke have declined over the last few years and this is why the school is now in it’s current predicament. However, the way in which the DfE has undertaken the transfer and the lack of consultation with everyone from parents to the LEA is woeful. Roke has a long and largly succesful history that has ‘turned out’ a lot of really good students. This isn’t the way in which the school should have ended it’s current existence.
Cllr Steve Hollands