A number of my ward constituents have brought to my attention the disturbing way in which Caedmon College Whitby is handling the consultation regarding the amalgamation.
It appears that students at the school are being asked to fill in the forms en mass during form time. Clearly this is both unsatisfactory and undemocratic.
As a councillor interested in democratic rights and accountability, and as a long standing teacher, the pitfalls of such an activity are obvious.
The students will, no doubt, ask questions and be guided as to the appropriate response. I am not impugning the integrity of the teacher, but the way in which the process is being handled from the top. When you factor in the lack of pupil/young person friendliness in the rubric of the preceding narrative, and the open ended nature of the questions, it is clear that the school carrying out the process in this way is not acting in a manner that easily lends itself to independent thought and fair decision making.
I am also informed that the students have been subject to assemblies which promote the advantages of school amalgamation. Once again, hardly a recipe for freedom of thought, information or balanced opinions.
Finally, I would hold that the manner in which Caedmon College Whitby has conducted this exercise disqualifies the responses of their students from the consultation.
Cllr Rob Barnett
Esk Terrace, Whitby