I must take exception to the letter from John Buckley on November 2 relating to the recent success of Scarborough TEC.
Formerly Yorkshire Coast College is fast becoming a very successful part of the Grimsby Institute Group. It has achieved substantial success and improvement in student achievement, attendance and both student and staff satisfaction. The turnaround in its fortunes have been substantial over the past 18 months.
Mr Buckley’s letter is simplistic. I do not think he really knows how Scarborough TEC is performing, which makes me ask why he raises such poorly-informed points.
He has form for this of course, being openly critical of the new UTC in a letter which was published in your newspaper (February 27, 2014). He criticised the need for the technical education that the UTC would bring, citing the ample technical education already available. Then, as now, he misses the point completely.
I am in no way related to the UTC, however as an engineering employer with considerable local expertise, the skills gap which we have in this country will not be solved by traditional further education models. I am working with the UTC in Bolton to get the next generation of engineering apprentices and the UTC model supplies these kids ready made for employers, and with a very advanced grounding in engineering principles and practices.
As a governor of Scarborough TEC I take similar exception to his openly biased and unfounded criticisms, which I can only categorise as “fake news”.
His apparent knowledge of the concordat between the colleges hints rather that once again he has been put up to this by local education practitioners who are unfortunately being driven by a system which promotes competition for student numbers and hence a duplication of provision on certain curriculum areas. In this the government is quite wrong and indeed it should look at making best economic and practical use of our establishments such that they truly serve the community rather than personal gratification or self interest. Such behaviour against a backcloth of living in a town which has many children under-achieving is, in my view, shameful.
To play political football with children’s lives is equally so.
To those who continue to ignore the need to play to the strengths of each establishment in our town should hang their heads. Further, those who seek to criticise without any real data or information or for political reasons should equally be ashamed.
Let us make sure that we can provide an inclusive, respectful, appropriate best in class education system for our town and put this aim ahead of petty selfishness. Let us also congratulate and welcome the recent educational successes of our town, not to forget the establishment of Coventry University and the excellent new education campus which has breathed new life and investment into Scarborough.
Woodall Nicholson Group
Wigan Road, Bolton