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Council 'wants off-island parents to feel secure'

The Council's Lead Member for Children has responded to the open letter from parents on St Martin's seeking reassurance about the survival of the off-island schools.

All the parents on St Martin's recently wrote to members of the Isles of Scilly Council, as well as the IEB and Diocese of Truro, expressing their concern that the off-island bases be protected when Five Islands converts to an Academy.

The IEB subsequently wrote back to the parents and received a further response in return.

>> The original letter from St Martin's parents

>> The reply from the IEB and the parents' subsequent response

The Council has now also responded to the parents' letter. Cllr Joel Williams said: "I do not have any concerns that the proposed MAT and the current Trustees would shut any off island bases. In fact, their commitment to off island education has been apparent in the excellent results achieved by off island bases and considerable investment in the boarding house. The concern is what might happen should the numbers of school aged children living on an off island reduce to very low levels in future years.

"There is a draft document in place to provide reassurance should that situation occur and the MAT will be reviewing that document in partnership with parents over the next few weeks to include an overt guarantee that educational property would be mothballed and not sold off should there be no children of school age.

"As Local Authority members we are happy to support that process so that off island parents feel secure in the commitment to educational provision on their island. The MAT are helping the school achieve the improvements required and we were delighted to see the success of our Year 11 students last week."


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