From Ieuan Jehu, Totland:

Having read Cllr Medland’s letter, I am astonished anyone can read the statement from a council spokesperson saying “the council withdrew the public notice it issued on July 19 in relation to school places in the West Wight following a legal challenge” and interpret it to mean there is a judicial review or a mere “freezing the process”.

The council withdrew the proposal when it acknowledged it lacked the legislative authority to enforce it.

If the Freshwater community group cared for our children, it would acknowledge the Ofsted review which found “small schools performed better on average than larger schools” and be working to protect all of our small schools instead of proposing a phased withdrawal from the Yarmouth school site which would have seen the school suffer a death by a thousand cuts.

Any uncertainty is being prolonged by those who are still suggesting there is any hope of this ridiculous proposal being implemented.

In reality there is more security now for West Wight schools than there was before the success of Yarmouth’s legal challenge.

If Cllr Brading wishes to put forward a new proposal at the September cabinet meeting, that proposal will need to be exposed to the same consultation process as the two previous proposals.

By the time that process has run its course, it will be to late to be implemented during 2019/20. Parents, teachers and pupils can rest secure then, knowing all of our schools are safe for at least the next year.

There are, of course, funding issues which will need addressing to secure the future of our schools.

These can be tackled without school closures: by federalisation of small schools, repurposing of surplus schools estate and by addressing the under delivery of SEND provision which is costing our council an estimated £329,000 annually.

Cllr Medland ends his ramblings with a plea for a ‘democratic consensus’ to be reached. I would remind him more than 70 per cent of respondents to the last consultation were against the proposal.

He’s clearly hoping to pressurise the Yarmouth school community into withdrawing the challenge, knowing unless they do and the council are allowed to proceed with their plan, the dream of a West Wight super school is unachievable.