County council approve new approach to alternative education

WORCESTERSHIRE County Council has agreed to commission and consider different ways to provide alternative education throughout the county.

Alternative education is for children and young people of school age who for reasons of illness or exclusion do not access education through their mainstream school.

Due to recent changes in national policy, local authorities will become a commissioner for any alternative education provision that may be necessary instead of managing short stay schools.

The county council cabinet welcomed the proposed establishment of the ContinU Plus Academy, an alternative provision free school in Wyre Forest.

The proposed free school will be run by ContinU Trust, a charitable trust comprising of the seven high schools of Wyre Forest and Hagley and Kidderminster College, as well as trustees from Barnardos and the universities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

The county council is also proposing to seek permission from the Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove to cease alternative education currently provided by Forest Oak and The Coach House short stay schools, both in Kidderminster, from September 2013.

Conservative councillor Jane Potter, cabinet member for education and skills, said: "The corporate plan sets out the direction of travel for the county council as a commissioning organisation and at the heart of this new approach is how services can be transformed to achieve the best outcomes for children and young people.

“We are particularly looking to schools to form local partnerships to provide for pupils they might otherwise exclude as the best outcome for children is to keep them included in mainstream education wherever possible."

Comments (3)

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7:49am Wed 13 Feb 13

Stephen Brown says...

In other words re-inventing the wheel......but in potentially a private sector based capacity.

Another cynical attempt by Government to undermine state provision, trade unions and outsource in much the same way Academies and free schools do.

There is only one reason that Academies etc want to set up alternative provision (something that already existed under the 'old system by the way) is to get challenging students off their books so it does not affect their results and so make them look bad. Oh yes, they can dress it up in any clever way they want but that is the end game. Excuse me if I don't jump cartwheels at this or think continU or any other Trust is a good thing.

Academies, free schools, trusts or whatever else you may want to call them, councils commissioning out and in consequence other schools or PRU's going as a result is not progress in my view.

Talk about spin...
In other words re-inventing the wheel......but in potentially a private sector based capacity. Another cynical attempt by Government to undermine state provision, trade unions and outsource in much the same way Academies and free schools do. There is only one reason that Academies etc want to set up alternative provision (something that already existed under the 'old system by the way) is to get challenging students off their books so it does not affect their results and so make them look bad. Oh yes, they can dress it up in any clever way they want but that is the end game. Excuse me if I don't jump cartwheels at this or think continU or any other Trust is a good thing. Academies, free schools, trusts or whatever else you may want to call them, councils commissioning out and in consequence other schools or PRU's going as a result is not progress in my view. Talk about spin... Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

5:48pm Wed 13 Feb 13

FranOb says...

You could NOT be more wrong on this one Steve.
This is ALL our local High Schools, Academy and Local Authority, working together for ALL our pupils!
You could NOT be more wrong on this one Steve. This is ALL our local High Schools, Academy and Local Authority, working together for ALL our pupils! FranOb
  • Score: 0

11:27pm Wed 13 Feb 13

Stephen Brown says...

My comments stand. I don't buy into the Govt Education agenda and I wish schools, councils, and councillors had more bottle and not bought into it either. It's destructive and divisive.

There has been a £1 billion Govt overspend (and rising) on this ideologically driven process in a time of cuts. And for what? To undermine strategic state education, to marketise education in a backdoor privatisation, put people on the dole, weaken unions, and in some cases leave local authorities with school deficits and pfi debts but no assets. It's happened in Worcestershire and us taxpayers are paying for it. When the financial reckoning comes (2015 at my guess) it will spell disaster.

The electorate did not vote for this.

I prefer to follow through and be consistent in my opposition to the damage this Govt is doing rather than play hokey cokey.

All working together for the benefit of the pupils? At a groundfloor level the school staff are yes - but I doubt there's a real belief in it - as it's a no choice equation. So please don't confuse this 'working together' with the contradiction of the effect of Govt policy or the politics and self interest that is driving it.
My comments stand. I don't buy into the Govt Education agenda and I wish schools, councils, and councillors had more bottle and not bought into it either. It's destructive and divisive. There has been a £1 billion Govt overspend (and rising) on this ideologically driven process in a time of cuts. And for what? To undermine strategic state education, to marketise education in a backdoor privatisation, put people on the dole, weaken unions, and in some cases leave local authorities with school deficits and pfi debts but no assets. It's happened in Worcestershire and us taxpayers are paying for it. When the financial reckoning comes (2015 at my guess) it will spell disaster. The electorate did not vote for this. I prefer to follow through and be consistent in my opposition to the damage this Govt is doing rather than play hokey cokey. All working together for the benefit of the pupils? At a groundfloor level the school staff are yes - but I doubt there's a real belief in it - as it's a no choice equation. So please don't confuse this 'working together' with the contradiction of the effect of Govt policy or the politics and self interest that is driving it. Stephen Brown
  • Score: 0

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