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Latest on Dover District Council's criticism of KCC over Walmer Science College closure

By mrjamierose  |  Posted: March 01, 2013

Walmer

UP IN THE AIR: Walmer Science College

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DOVER District Council has slammed Kent County Council over the proposed merger of Walmer Science College with Castle Community College.

In a surprising twist, evidence used to support the closure of Walmer was labelled "neither honest nor transparent" at Wednesday's scrutiny committee meeting.

Held at the Landmark Centre in Deal, the first meeting to take place away from the Whitfield offices for more than a year saw Dover District Council members back the staunch opposition which has grouped since the announcement last year.

The committee now expects an independent review of the decision to be undertaken before any final decision is made, and asked specifically that the review not be conducted by either current or former Kent County Council employees.

They judged their plans place the parents of children in Deal and the surrounding area in an invidious position by a lack of a clearly defined strategy for students, concerns over the robustness of the figures used for the projected rolls, failure to consider projections for housing growth and failure to properly assess the impact of travelling costs.

The committee also criticised the lack of alternative options to the closure from Kent County Council; the appalling way in which staff at Walmer Science College are being treated; and the failure to address their concerns related to educational needs for existing students at Walmer.

They also said there was a flaw in the initial decision notice issued by the Cabinet Member for Education, Learning and Skills, Mike Whiting, as the decision issued was to close Walmer Science College, not to amalgamate it with Castle Community College.

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