Council boss rejects bias claim over West Burton School decision

West Burton Primary School.

A senior council official has rejected a claim officers showed a lack of impartiality when recommending West Burton School be allowed to defederate.

The claim was made by governors of Bainbridge, Askrigg and West Burton (BAWB) schools after they voted against allowing the Bishopdale school to leave the federation.

The BAWB board said they were concerned that North Yorkshire County Council had demonstrated a clear lack of impartiality by relying on evidence given to them by the group seeking defederation, and then not checking this evidence.

But Stuart Carlton, director of North Yorkshire’s children and young people’s service, said this week that officers had acted without bias.

He added: “We are fully aware of the views of all parties about the Bainbridge, Askrigg and West Burton school consultation and federation issues.

“As such we made recommendations on the issue of West Burton’s defederation to the board of governors, but have always made it clear that the decision rests with the Governing Body.

“We came to an impartial view based on the issues placed before us.”

In a letter to BAWB, Mr Carlton set out seven reasons why he thought the defederation should be allowed.

One reasons was that there was “obvious parental and community discord which means the three school BAWB federation would lose West Burton support and this has negative implications for the education of all children.

He also said the transportation of pupils away from West Burton would never be accepted by the West Burton parents and community.

You can read the county council’s letter giving its reasons for recommending the defederation be allowed here.

Upper Dales county councillor John Blackie, who supports the West Burton parents’ bid for defederation said the criticism by the BAWB board was “gratuitous, undeserved, unwarranted and unfair”.

He said: “I am astounded by the outrageous nature of the attack.”

The BAWB board has call for all parties to now work together for the good of the children and communities.

However, the councillor added:”I am at a loss to understand how mounting an all-out attack on the reputation and credibility of the LEA and also the reputation and credibility of the West Burton representative group and its members, who are also subject to some scathing comments in its letter to parents, will serve their stated intention.

“There has been a complete breakdown of working relationships and I cannot see how they can ever be restored.”

It is understood members of the West Burton Defederation Group (WBDG) are seeking a meeting with Mr Carlton to find a way forward.


1 Comment

  1. The BAWB board have stated publicly that the busing of children from West Burton has been a complete success, however, nothing could be further from the truth. As a grandparent my grandchild arrives home tired and in tears this is not the rosy picture painted by BAWB. Just to highlight the amount of time my grandchild spends on a bus. Every tuesday when they have a swimming lesson at Catterick, their day is as follows: bus to West Burton from home, then bus to Bainbridge, then onto another bus to Catterick, then bus back to Bainbridge and after a 1 hour lesson they are then bused back to West Burton and then a bus home a total of six bus’es in one day with just a 1 hour lesson at school. BAWB thinks that this is acceptable for a six year old? I suppose if my grandchild decides to be a bus driver this will be good experience.

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