Scrumping - Skills n Skools

Mortal Mindy's picture

It was Andrew Andonis, (now a Baron) an unelected advisor to Tony Blair that introduced 'Academies' to the UK.  A UTC Academy is described as : 

“UTCs are academies for 14-19-year-olds. They focus on providing technical education that meets the needs of modern employers. They offer technical courses and work-related learning, combined with academic studies.  All UTCs:

    • are sponsored by a local university and employers. It is also usual for FE colleges and other educational institutions – like established academy trusts – to work in partnership with them;
    • specialise in two curriculum areas (e.g. engineering and science);
    • teach core GCSEs alongside technical qualifications, and we expect them to offer young people the opportunity to achieve the English Baccalaureate;
    • focus on disciplines that require highly specialised equipment, for example, engineering, manufacturing and construction;
    • teach these disciplines alongside developing young people’s business, ICT and design skills to prepare students for a range of careers and continuing education at 19; and
    • have 500 to 800 students.

The Baker Dearing Educational Trust plays a key role in developing partnerships and advising on applications for UTCs.”

After the 2010 general election, Michael Gove took up the 'Academy' education design format, introducing Freeschools, ie Independent Schools paid for by the Govt. and the tax payer, but for whose benefit? The benefit of local business, "introducing market forces into  education...."  Commercial considerations entering into education, Gove "to improve educational standards".  Gove, no business or education experience, descibed as a journalist with a view, manic certainty...  Goves command is 'to academise'.  Ofsted are equipped to place schools into special measures lining them up for Academy status.  Source: Schools are being bought : "Every school is to be an academy ... the academies buy the curriculum  ...  private people running schools... whatever it is that pays for schools, tax payers money, goes into the private peoples pockets ... the plan is to do it everywhere"

Everywhere? In 2012, despite austerity, the Govt. were handing out wads of £10mil grants or funding to encourage the creation of UTC's up and down the country, even Bolton:  "A bid for £10 million worth of funding has been made by the university to develop a University Technical College (UTC) for 14- to-19-year-olds at its campus. If successful, young people would be able to quit their current school and attend the UTC." source

The latest "£10mil funding has been taken up at Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham (Hitachi) : "The Baker Dearing Educational Trust says students attending University Technical Colleges feel more confident about getting a job and building a strong career. ...  The South Durham site will stand close to Hitachi Rail Europe’s £82m 730-job Aycliffe train building factory, and Darren Cumner, the firm’s plant manager and UTC trustee, reiterated the need to nurture the next generation."

So, what about locally.  It has been said that a current FE provider failed to submit their paperwork in a timely fashion to attract the £10mil pot to establish a UTC on current FE sites.  It has been claimed that the Scarborough Ambassadors took it upon themselves to  'fill in the paperwork' and make the application and to grab  the £10mil for the local area. Hence the 'confusion' and perceived haste to establish a local UTC.   A local UTC has been well supported by local business, no doubt for the same reasons as other commercial enterprises, to meet a perceived skills shortage gap.  Leading Members of  SBC also support the UTC and have welcomed Coventry Univeristy to provide a University facility, next door.  Unfortunately, the Agenda of the Council, alongwith the Planning Committee's Agenda, interlinked the two (UTC & Coventry University) with duplicate reports and consultation responses both for and against each of the proposals:

First up:

Followed by:

See here:

So along with the 'conditions' being added adhoc, along with the strength of the residents community group concerns,  it would have been quite rude to object to one (UTC) and not the other (CU), due simply to the order of the agenda. Had items 4 & 5 been t'other way around support for CU would have been unanimous.  However, needless to say, both applications were passed with only one objection, siting over development : (Minutes yet to be published) Here is the Muggles list:

1. Crime: The Architectural Liaison Report -  concern is that crime will go up in the area and the (huge) glass doors would be an invitation  (this was later revoked by the use of CCTV  and other security measures)

2.  Contamination:  The land is contaminated (former gas works), Environmental Health require a remediation scheme. (contaminated land needs to be excavated with care)

3. Northern Grid "Mains records only give an approximate location of apparatus" (the mains electric supply to Scarborough is under there somewhere)

4.  Flood Risk Management: (the site is in a shallow valley prone to flooding), outstanding is the surface water hydrological assessment.

5. Third Party Objectors (TPO) -  Mrs Hindle - the development is too near residential properties ... privacy. Are they "rushing it through ... has there been any surveys? What about a geological survey?

6.  TPO - The Ambulance Station is next door to the site, will the increase in traffic ....

7.  TPO - CJ Furby - This is a great idea, wrong site, should the UTC be sited nearer to industry?

8.  TPO -  E Hulme -Disturbance from the Football ground. SL Dranfield - Travelling alond Seamer Road is a nightmare, now.

9.  TPO - Is this a done deal, what about transparency, is this about the money?  (Yep its about *** failing to apply for a Govt. Grant) What about the future of Yorkshire Coast College? Is this development a direct or indirect action between two competing educational establishments?    Are there enough students to go around?

10.  What do Scarborough Ambassadors know about education provision?  What is their experience of education provision?

11.  Hull University is pulling out of the town, what about Hull College & Hull Univeristy?

12.  If education is going through a transistional phase, these buildings are to be permanent, why not use current empty buildings?  Looking forward could these new buildings serve other purposes? (They look like sheds)

13. Scarborough Civic Society - Where is the (development) Masterplan for this area, this seems to be rushed though?

14. Each are new builds, three storeys high, Coventry University up to 2000 students and the UTC Academy 600 students (plus staff) The SN reported only 4 students had signed up for the courses opening Sept 2015, in temporary accommodation.

15.  TPO - B Ralph:- The development is "compounded with other developments", together with the police ALO report "this open space is to be turned into a compound." (Yep, ...  the whole hogg (Guantanamo ... not quite - due to the age of students (14)  the Academy will need secure perimeter fencing, the University will not)

16. TPO - J Sampson - 2000 students "sewage flowing back ... Seamer Carr, not enough drainage supplied. There was flooding at the Co-op with three foot of water only last year."

17. TPO - S Vikers - Is the public pathway along the east side to be blocked or extinguished? 

18.  TPO - Carol Etherington, on behalf of Mencap & Brookleigh (special needs facility) What about the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children? best not mention human trafficking

19. TPO - This will have a negative impact on the whole area... there are restrictive covenants "land in Weaponness Valley was gifted in 1916 with restrictions for further use

20.  LITHOS - Geo-environmental Report May 2015: Noted: Teh foundations will need to be piled to transfer loads, pilings through peat and clay to rock.  The depth of these pilings is uncertain (need to avoid boulders). Groundwater is likely to be encountereed during excavations.  Stability is likely to be poor and allowance is to be made for shoring (at the base of the Mount, where residents live ?) Soakaways will not provide a suitable drainage.  Should consult with Network Rail, the Rail embankments will be steepened and may effect engineering works.  (Geo-technical report) see here:  WVgeo.pdf

The Planning Meeting Minutes have now been published: -)

Coventry University have pledged to work closely with the Weaponness Valley Community Group.


Prior to the planning application of Scarboroughs UTC Academy a presentation was given to Members by Scarborough's long established Independent College:

Scarborough College's vision for 2020 is for inclusion of 400 students including 80 foreign students.  They need to work closely with the two new Universities (Hull & Coventry), however as an Independent School without funding from tax payers they need to rely solely on their own resources. At present they are trying to sell off unused buildings that have become 'not fit for purpose'.  They need to sell off their assets to build a new modern purpose accommodation block, a 100 bed boarding house to attract new students and sustain the future of the College and Independent status. To be self-sufficient, SC have looked at alternative sites and within their curtliage and identified three properties that would provide the capital to secure the new accommodation build from the sale of existing assets.  Those three sites being the accommodation blocks; Willesley House (22), 29 Filey Road EDV £600-650K, Weaponness House (35) (Victorian Villa) 35 Filey Road, EDV £650k, and Denys Crews House (12) at the former Bramcote School.  The College is keen to emphasise they are acting as transparently as possible with an open-book policy. All three sites are being marketed in the public domain.  Architects have advised that the current accommodation is unviable from a commercial view (to develop into assisted residential care homes)  with costs being too high to meet modern standards.  The Bramcote School site is tied up with restrictive covenants and the focus is on one site to the southwest corner of Bramcote, currently a sports grounds, tennis courts etc  The new accommodation block will be two storeys high, have a courtyard a private place, have seperate accommodation wings for girls and boy boarders and will not impact on the Cricket square.

Where are they at now?  They have no funds.  Bramcote School was founded in 1893 with infill blocks added in 1960's. The swimming pool was added in1970 with a music block in 1986 and Sports 1995.  In October 2014 a targetted marketing exercise was carried out to deliver and assess value for resdential and vacant buildings, due to the depressed property market in Scarborough interest has been slow, and any redevelopment and alternative use possibilities have been costed. 

Bramcote site :  the Old Pavillion to two semi-detached houses £175/200k. Willersley House £600-650k, Weaponness House £650k =£950 to redevelop. The properties have been marketing for a few months but any redevelopment has to be viable, the only interest to date has been from care/assisted living providers.  There has been some Nursing Home interest but this would be a knockdown & redevelopment.

The College have decided to keep the playing fields, with covenants in place 5.9 acres.  To achieve the Colleges goals £3mil to be raised from the sale of assets to provide a new accommodation block.  Of interest the Bramcote School swimming pool is still in use, though described as 'old and delapidated' .... hmmm ... straight in the deep end without arm bands ... thats where I learned to swim :-))  As for Willersley House .... those two old dears 'scrumping'?

Sources & Info




Mortal Mindy's picture

Angels & Demons


Published in full  .... just in case it vanishes :

"Residents say they were kept in the dark about a new children’s home that they fear will send the value of their sea-view homes tumbling.

Neighbours are furious they weren’t consulted about the incoming home and its future inhabitants, even though it will accommodate no more than two children.

Some, like Jennifer Jones, claim it will bring an “unwelcome element” into Sea View Drive. “There has been no consultation in this area, no leaflets – nothing,” said Jennifer, who has lived there for 14 years.

Scarborough Council say that’s because there was no reason to. The home is understood to have been bought by the Cambian Group, a leading children’s services provider.

The group bypassed the planning process by successfully requesting a Lawful Development Certificate.

This method allows an applicant to seek confirmation as to whether a use is in fact lawful and therefore does not require planning permission.

The certificate was awarded back in June, but Jennifer claims that it was only after a recent chat with builders that residents discovered what was being built at the former residential property.

And she added: “This area is predominately made up of retired residents, so I think that it’s totally inappropriate to have a children’s home.

“I live directly opposite it and if the council had made us aware of it opening then I would have opposed it from the start as would the other neighbours.”

One of those neighbours, who wouldn’t be named, added: “I just worry about what sort of element it will attract to the area, the fear is if they are teenagers then it will bring an undesirable element to what’s a nice peaceful street.”

Residents are so concerned about the imminent opening of the home, they’ve contacted local councillor Eric Broadbent to fight their corner.

The Labour politician said he’s looked into the case, and while legally the council didn’t have to notify residents, he thinks that ethically the authority shouldn’t have kept residents in the dark.

“This is causing misery among the elderly people in that area,” said Cllr Broadbent.

“It’s terrible how this is allowed to happen without a fallback position.

“There should be some sort of safeguarding where there’s a consultation period of some sort, where even if the council doesn’t need to do it, residents are still informed.

“There’s something wrong in the system - there should be more checks.”

The home is expected to open soon, with builders having worked on it for the past three months.

The Cambian Group say they will work with neighbours to ensure that “we allay their concerns as we work towards the opening of this service”.

Scarborough Council say its planning and legal officers thoroughly inspected the proposals, which it says would be no different to the property being used for normal residential use, to make sure planning permission wasn’t needed.

A spokesperson added: “Although there is no statutory requirement to consult third parties on such requests, we did publish the case on our website.”

But as residents prepare for the home’s opening, Jennifer fears it will force house prices to fall.

And she added: “If it needs to be built, then they should build it - just not around here.”

Am soooo looking forward to next Tuesday's site visit :-)

Benefitz Betty's picture

'We're in the Dark'

How shameful.  Scarborough is a Childrens Home, a wonderful place to bring up kids (that includes teenagers).  If you want a town full of coffin dodgers then f*ck right off to the South Coast !!!


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Analyse This

Q. A 2km buffer zone

Wot no fracking around the Zone of Potash interest?

Thats just awful ... wot will those electric trains be running on around Pickering ....

Pay attention to detail. Note the change of 'regime' ;-)

No sh*t Sherlock  ;-0  MMx



Capt. 'Bob''s picture


Budget :

Erm, to put it 'mildly' tip toe tip toe ...

Osbo's Budget will not consider the consumer.

Rule No 1. Never underestimate the power of consumption nor the consumer :-)


Budgets n Bodgits,  at best avoided ;-)