Coun­cil leader faces quit call

Coun­cil leader says he won’t re­lin­quish his cabi­net post

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Front Page - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@peter­bor­oughto­ Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

The leader of Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil has faced calls to step down from his role as head of ed­u­ca­tion af­ter city schools came rock bot­tom in the lat­est league ta­bles. Cllr John Holdich has de­fended his record and said he be­lieved he had the sup­port of schools.

Peter­bor­ough MP Ste­wart Jack­son has led calls for Cllr John Holdich to step down from his ed­u­ca­tion post af­ter the city fin­ished bot­tom of na­tional league ta­bles for SATS re­sults. Ta­bles re­leased by the Depart­ment for Ed­u­ca­tion showed just 39 per­cent of pupils reached the ex­pected stan­dard by the end of pri­mary school.

Mr Jack­son said Cllr Holdich, who along with his role as Cabi­net Mem­ber for Ed­u­ca­tion, Skills and Univer­sity and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is the leader of the coun­cil, should con­sider re­duc­ing his work load.

He­said:” Per­haps he needs to say we need to look at this with a fresh pair of eyes.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is a big job, and maybe we should have a cabi­net mem­ber for schools alone, as well as col­lege, univer­sity etc. It is a mas­sive job, and we are drift­ing. It is very bad for the city.”

Labour Cllr Ed Mur­phy agreed, and said: “This poor per­for­mance in Peter­bor­ough can­not con­tinue and we should look to let­ting an­other more com­pe­tent ed­u­ca­tion au­thor­ity run the ser­vice.

“School per­for­mance in Peter­bor­ough has been too poor for too many years and the Cabi­net mem­ber re­spon­si­ble for ed­u­ca­tion Coun­cil­lor Holdich should now re­sign over the mat­ter and let some­body more ca­pa­ble take over.”

And Lib­eral Demo­crat cllr Dar­ren F ow er added :“I’ ve said it be­fore - cllr Holdich should step down from his ed­u­ca­tion role. It is very dis­ap­point­ing to see th­ese SATS re­sults. Par­ents will be ask­ing what is go­ing on.”

De­fend­ing his po­si­tion, Cllr Holdich, in his fifth year as cabi­net mem­ber for edu- cation, said he be­lieved he had the sup­port of schools across the city and would not be stand­ing aside.

He said: “I think its very poor of them to make such state­ments whent hey haven’t even both­ered to come and find out what the sit­u­a­tion re­ally is in this city. Then, if they want togo away and talk about reser­va­tions, then that is fair enough.

“I be­lieve my record stands on its own, and I be­lieve the record of my of­fi­cers stands on its own, and the record of my schools stand son its own .”

North West Cam­bridgeshire MPS hailesh Vara added: “Th­ese re­sults are sim­ply not good enough. Ur­gent work is re­quired to get to the root of the prob­lem to start the re­cov­ery. I have al­ready spo­ken with Cllr John Holdich but this is not about one per­son wav­ing a magic wand.”

See in­ter­view with John Holdich on Pages 6&7

Cllr John Holdich

MPs Ste­wart Jack­son (left) and Shailesh Vara

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