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Blackpool Sixth Parent Director 'Election Results' To Remain A Secret

Transparency a real issue at Community College in Lancashire

Published on 17 February 2017

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by WireNews



Blackpool Sixth
Blackpool Sixth

Recently the parents of students attending Blackpool Sixth Form College, operated by the Fylde Coast Academy Trust, were notified about a "Parent Director" vacancy.

The College serves the Fylde and surrounding areas of the county of Lancashire, England and has around 1,900 full-time students.

Blackpool Sixth offers academic and applied programmes to a wide range of students aged between 16 and 19.

Sue Hawitt, Governance Administrator for the college, notified parents of the vacancy on 10 January by email writing:

"We currently have a vacancy to become a Non-Executive Parent Director of The Blackpool Sixth Form College."

"If you are interested in applying for this exciting role, please see the attached for further information and reply by email before Friday 20th January 2017."

The following parents put their names forward as candidates:

Bill White
Caroline Coyne
Helen Hogg
Joanne Eccles
Linda Roberts
Paul Mottershead
Paulette Liptrot
Steve Haskett
Richard Blackburn
Natallia Roberstson

Then on 3 February 2017 Hawitt emailed parents again saying:

"Blackpool Sixth has a vacancy for a Parent Director to join the Blackpool Sixth Corporation Board. The Corporation is ultimately responsible for all college matters. It ensures clarity of vision, ethos and strategic direction, holds the Principal to account for the performance of students and staff, and oversees the financial well-being of the college, ensuring it makes the best use of its resources. It is important to have parent representation on the board and parent directors are elected by other parents. The college has received 10 nominations for the vacancy and parents are now invited to vote for their preferred candidate via the form below:


The ballot is now open and will close at 17:00 on Friday 10th February 2017.
Parent Director Nominees and parents will be advised of the results on Monday 13th February."

But the election results were not made available on 13 February 2017 as promised. On 15 February parents began reaching out to Hawitt hoping to get details of the voting process. One parent received a brief reply from Hawitt on 16 February that said: "Unfortunately on this occasion you have been unsuccessful".

After several requests for the results of the vote, Hawitt finally emailed parents and the candidates on 17 February to say:

"This process has now ended and I am pleased to confirm that the successful candidate is Caroline Coyne."

No voting results have been disclosed. The number of votes each candidate received will not be disclosed. Despite emails to Hawitt, Kathryn Buddle and Jon McLeod, the results of the so-called "election" are not being made available.

Google Forms, the 'voting system' used by Blackpool Sixth Form, offers several export formats and graphics suitable for easy dissemination of the results. But as we see, the Administrators of the College instead opted for a secret process by which a parent was chosen to represent all parents... but chosen by whom?



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Posted 2017-02-17 12:43:00