ALL THOSE who support the notion of the ‘big society’ must have been very despondent at the news that the governing body of Ratton School has decided to press on with the Trust project with minimal public support and specifically dismissing out of hand the views of those who responded to their mock “consultation”.
The key to a “public consultation” is in the title, it involves a consultation; not simply collecting ideas and views, but feeding back and discussing them.
However, in this case alternative views been blatantly ignored, the article in the Herald on January 28 said, “We did have 11 people respond expressing concern, but the governing body is clear.”
Clear they may be, but consulting they are not. One might also note that this is a small figure, but certainly comparable with those expressing support for the plan, which was likewise a handful,
A proper consultation would have involved many parents, say at a parents evening when hundreds attend rather than the special meeting which involved barely 14 parents.
It is my belief that most parents are unclear about how the plan could improve the school or what other alternatives there are, clarifying these question would be integral to a real consultation
This whole issue of a tiny group of mainly unelected appointees controlling vast public assets is worrying, who will oversee them, who will ensure that they follow correct procedure, indeed who will ensure that they are aware of correct procedure?
If this hiving off of public assets and services is to be the pattern we surely need answers to these questions.