THE Isle of Wight Council says it has successfully defended its legal case over the sixth form building at Christ the King College in Carisbrooke.

Matt Quinn, Executive Headteacher, said it meant the school could now move forward.

He said: "This has been a long journey for the college. The college has a very distinctive Sixth Form offer, providing some of the best ‘A’ level outcomes on the Island. Mr Justice Foxton’s decision will help the college move forward with the growth of this provision." 

In 2013, the school's governing body entered into a 15-year hire contract with BOSHire for a modular sixth form building that cost more than £650,000 a year to service — more than than £10 million in total.

In 2016, the council issued a financial notice of concern to the school, saying it could not allow it to build up additional debt.

Subsequently, the school was unable to meet the financial terms of the contract, resulting in the contractor issuing legal proceedings against the school and the council.

The judge in the case, Mr Justice Foxton, ruled the school had entered into the contract in such a way that it was ultra vires — meaning it had no legal authority to enter into the contract — and, as a consequence, the contract had no legal effect.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Concluding, Mr Justice Foxton called on the school and the contractor, Boshire, 'to seek to reach agreement on the terms of an order reflecting the findings in this judgement, and on any consequential issues'.

There are likely to now be ongoing discussions between the school and the contractor, says the Isle of Wight Council.

The college said it would not be make any further comments until the outstanding matters are resolved.

Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children's services, education and skills said: “This is a good outcome for the council and our local taxpayers and fully vindicates our decision to contest the claim. 

“I hope that an agreement can be reached swiftly between the school and the provider of the sixth form buildings, so that focus can be placed where it should be, on the education of our young people.

"I look forward to working with the school to ensure they can continue to offer quality provision to its pupils and sixth form students, within the realms of its own budget."