Council To Make Improvements To Mundesley House

Mundesley House

The Council is working to help Mundesley boarding house achieve national minimum boarding standards.

Following a 2010 Ofsted inspection, there’ll be a change in procedures and improvements to the building.

Ofsted inspectors visited recently and the Council say they thought the boarding provision was good.

Ofsted said that Off-Islands youngsters who stay at Mundesley during term time are well cared for and the relationship between staff and pupils was like a big family, something they viewed as a strength.

But they do want to put in place a way of monitoring the youngsters’ welfare.

Head of Children’s Services, Penny Penn-Howard, told Councillors that two experts were being brought in to the school, including a Cornwall head teacher, who would help the boarding house reach statutory requirements and assist the acting head teacher in improving special educational needs provision.

Councillor Richard McCarthy asked Penny who that would be, as he wanted openness but she told the full Council meeting that there hadn’t been a firm appointment yet.

One of the houseparents will now visit four hostels in Cornwall to assess their best practice.

Ofsted’s report calls for some maintenance work, such as fixing damaged glass in a door. The Council say they surveyed the building last year and the roof has been repaired.

The hostel will be decorated in time for the autumn term and new beds, furniture, lighting and storage will be bought.

The youngsters have also asked for a bike shelter and the Council is considering the request.


14 Responses to Council To Make Improvements To Mundesley House

  1. Stuart August 18, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Phil, if the kids can be boated over every Monday and return on a boat every Friday why can’t that extend to the rest of the week.
    The kids already get boated over for assembly’s and sporting events etc
    As to missing out on activity’s, the same is true of people on the mainland who live in remote and rural communities, you don’t get the same opportunity’s as those who live in towns and cities. That’s the price you pay for choosing to live in the middle of nowhere.
    Besides there’s enough evening boats put on by the council at the tax payers’ expense for off islanders to attend “inclusive events” at lifelong learning so the kids could still “hang with their chums” in the evening if they wanted to.
    As to fantastic education, I disagree, the standard of education is nowhere near as good as it should be, we’ve had eight heads in fourteen years, been taken into special measures and now the best head this school has ever had has been forced to resign because of the politics at the town hall.
    The Islands economy is based upon tourism and government subsidy both of which are in terminal decline, and as much as it would be nice to carry on living in the 1950’s we have to cut our cloth accordingly and live within our means

  2. Cassandra August 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Personally I think sending off-island children over to St.Mary’s everyday wouldn’t work in practical terms particularly considering the weather in the Winter. I also think that if you were to speak to off-islanders about the funding of the hostel there would be gratitude that taxpayers’ money, including their own contribution of course, is found to fund it along with a recognition of its value rather than any sense of entitlement.

  3. Mick August 18, 2012 at 12:02 am

    I grew up in a rural part of the UK where I had to spend 45 minutes each way on a bus to school. In the winter, when the snow came down, we couldn’t get to school and the head teacher would ring us to go through what we’d missed. Why does living in the Isles if Scilly suddenly give kids a right to a different educational experience to that experienced by the vast majority of kids on the mainland? By getting rid of the off-island school staff and Mundesley House, we could more than pay for dedicated boats for them to get them to school on time. Am I missing something here?

  4. Phil August 17, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I have to say Stuart appears to know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. The financial cost of off-islands’ education is not a burden that affects the education of St Mary’s children and has a superb return, in that the off-islands children get a fantastic educational experience, truly unique and well worth preserving. Children start school at 4 here and to expect them to boat every day to and from the off-islands is simply ridiculous whether we “live in a sea based community” or not. Also Stuart, think of the practicalities. Children would miss lesson one everyday if they joined the Council employees, and would also miss out on the after school activities enjoyed by their peers. As a Coucil Tax payer who lives on St Mary’s, I value the education our off-island children get and the contribution they and the school staff make to their communities.

  5. Simon August 17, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Both Peppar and Fiona do have very valid points. Peppar was trying to point out that Mundesly is not a MAJOR burden on us locally as funding comes centrally. Yes it comes from the taxes we pay, but the individual amount is minimal per person. And boating IS a way of life. One where we “choose” if we venture onto the water or not, not one where we “have” to put 5, 6, 7+ year olds on a boat 10 times a week. In all sorts of conditions. I’d suggest Fionas argument is water tight.

  6. Stuart August 17, 2012 at 7:46 am

    Pepper states….”it isn’t taxpayers money, the money for Mundesley comes from the Government”
    So pepper where exactly do you think the government gets its money from?
    All forms of government, local, national & European get their money ultimately from the tax payer,

    As to kiddies on boats Fiona, we live in a sea based community, boating is a way of life for most people who live here, so your argument doesn’t hold water.

  7. ritchie August 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Stuart is right its high time this scenario had serious debate, however as long as you have children on the off Islands you will always have total opposition !

  8. Pepper August 14, 2012 at 8:41 am

    So nice to see this finally happening. I think Mundesley is brilliant, it’s a wonderful idea how off-island children have somewhere to stay for the week, not so much because they won’t be travelling twice a day but more to the point that they are able to stay and develop relationships with St Mary’s pupils – making friends and doing after school activities and such. This is what’s most important in all of this – the pupils. I’m sure money could be saved somewhere – however it isn’t taxpayers money, the money for Mundesley comes from the Government – Mundesley closes, we lose the funding, simple as.
    It’ll be nice to see a new improved boarding house at the end of this redecoration though!

  9. Em J August 13, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    At last! Mundesley is a wonderful place for both off-island children and St Mary’s children who visit their friends there after school, staff are so welcoming and friendly. However it does need a good lick of paint – it’s good this is finally getting done!
    I do find it odd though that this story is being published now when it is pretty much two years old, considering the date of the OFSTED report featured is 2010…

  10. Ann August 13, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    The funding for Mundesley is a special payment to the school which would be stopped if Mundesley closed. It would not be added back into the school funds.

    If off-islands are to be treated the same as St Marys then they should have a desalination plant each, sewage treatment facilities, road repairs, rubbish collection etc from council funds.

  11. Stuart August 13, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    As long as off islanders are over represented on the council with a disproportionate number of council seats compared to residents, the closing of Mundesley will always be opposed.
    If you add up the cost of the three off island bases, plus the cost of staff on deputy head masters salary’s, plus Mundlesey, plus all the admin and to-ing and fro-ing of staff and you must be looking at somewhere in the region of £1m pa. As tax payers we are already paying for the jet boats to ferry the off island Councillors over to St Mary’s everyday, so we could save our selfs a million quid for no additional expenditure.

    • Fiona Robson August 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Stuart, would you really be happy sending 5 year olds on a jet boat every day to and from the off islands. Bad enough that they have to do it between Bryher and Tresco.

  12. Sue Williams August 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

    This is long overdue .

  13. Stuart August 11, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Why not close it down altogether and ship the kids over on the jet boats that arrive just before 9am everyday with council staff on board, you could then close the off island schools as well and save a vast sum of money that could be better spent else where.