Here’s the population growth of the different countries of Great Britain since 1961.
|Population 2010 (1961=100)|
|Population 2010 (1961=100)|
But have no fear. Here’s an analysis of the performance of Cornish schools.
First, how do our schools compare with those in England? At KS4 (GCSE) the numbers gaining five A-C grades including English and Maths in Cornwall remain slightly lower (55%) than the English average of 58%. However, there’s been a very slight one point closing of that particular gap since 2008. For A levels, the picture is far rosier. In 2008 Cornish schools underperformed in terms of A level points per entry but they’re now doing better than schools in England.
For the topline data of proportions of pupils gaining five GCSE passes including English and Maths the schools at the top of the list are
1. Truro School (independent) 99%
2. Truro High School for Girls (independent) 98%
3. Callington 68%
4. Richard Lander, Truro 67%
=5. Bolitho, PZ (independent) and Falmouth 66%
=7. Helston and Wadebridge 63%
=9. Mullion and Penair, Truro 62%
The poorest results at GCSE were at
=1. Camelford and Poltair, St Austell 38%
3. Bodmin 41%
4. Lanson 45%
=5. Camborne, Newquay Tretherras and Torpoint 47%
=8. Brannel and Liskeard 48%
=10. Cape Cornwall and Hayle 49%
Twelve Cornish schools managed to do better than the English average. Nineteen did worse.
For A level scores the best results were
1. Truro School (independent) 249
2. Truro HS for Girls (independent) 246
3. Helston 228
=4. Torpoint and Wadebridge 226
6. Camborne 217
7. Budehaven 214
8. Lanson 211
9. Newquay Tretherras 210
10. Redruth 208
But the state schools (teaching 95.8% of Cornish kids) are fast closing the gap on the independent sector. From 32 points adrift in 2008 the best is now only 18 points short.
The presence of the two main independent schools at the top of these tables should alert us to the fact that performance is in general down to the intake and the background of the children in a school’s catchment area. The stubborn fact that Tory and Labour Ministers for Education choose to ignore is that educational attainment in this country is strongly correlated with income (and class). The better off your parents are the better you tend to do. If you want more equality in schooling across the board then make society more equal.
Only 30% of disadvantaged children in Cornish schools got five GCSEs last year, compared with the overall 55%. Here, sadly Cornwall does worse than England, where 34% of disadvantaged children scooped five GCSEs. The schools in Cornwall that did better than the English average when teaching their disadvantaged children were
1. Penrice, St Austell, where a very impressive 57% of disadvantaged pupils gained five GCSEs
=2. Cape Cornwall and Mullion 50%
4. Budehaven 44%
=5. Liskeard and Richard Lander, Truro 42%
7. St Ives 40%
=8. Pool and Roseland 38%
10. Hayle 36%
=11. Callington and Mounts Bay 35%
In short, the higher the attainment of children on leaving Junior School the better they do at Secondary School. It’s hardly rocket science. So in general, school league tables merely tell us which schools have the brightest intake of 11 years-olds.
Only 6% of low attainers at 11 manage five GCSEs, whereas 94% of high attainers do so. True, some schools (notably Helston, Humphry Davy at Penzance and Pool) did a lot better than this. Although even at the best of these only 20% of low attainers got their five GCSEs. And at others (Fowey, Newquay Treviglas, Roseland and St Ives) no low attainers at all ended up with five GCSEs including English and Maths.
If we compare the characteristics of the intake with their results at GCSE the schools that did best in 2011 were
Humphry Davy, Mullion, Pool and Wadebridge
On the other hand the schools that, given their intake, struggled were
Bodmin, Fowey, Lanson, Newquay Tretherras and Torpoint
the level of need … comes from the number of new households that come from our existing communities, young people leaving home, family breakup, older people living longer, and through an expected level of migration into or back into Cornwall
migration is the single greatest driver of population change (Population and Household Change v.2, p.5)
|Projected population change with and without migration|
breathtaking renewal project
Can you imagine how fantastic it will be to actually live at Heartlands?
self-sustaining community asset
|Original Heartlands wasteland site|
20 jobs in total
But hold on just a minute though. Isn’t the British Property Federation a well-heeled lobbying body that includes
some of the biggest companies in the property industry – property developers and owners … investment banks
Its ‘lobbying successes’ include injecting ‘realism’ into the Government’s carbon reduction policies in the interests of landlords. It also strongly supports the Government’s new National Planning Policy Framework. Described by many as creating a developers’ paradise, in the BPF’s eyes this merely ‘streamlines’ the planning system.
Their members include Drivers Jonas Deloitte, Indigo Planning, Savills, and Turley Associates, who all urged Cornwall Council to build 57,000 or even more houses in last year’s round of consultations on its Core Strategy. Interestingly, GVA Grimley, Cornwall Council’s favourite consultants, again pop up as members of the BPF as does its favourite supermarket Sainsburys.
But Robertson shows not a jot of shame at being associated with this bunch. On the contrary, Cornwall Council was
one of just six councils to join this group which demonstrates our growing reputation on the national stage
For that delusion of grandeur we should perhaps read growing reputation as an easy touch for property developers. Further down the message comes the ominous news that
Cornwall has been selected as a place-based study area. This means we will be working with senior British Property Federation representatives, developers and local private sector partners to carry out a detailed analysis of potential barriers to growth in Cornwall and identify appropriate solutions
Expect the knock on the door at dawn soon then. ‘Growth’ for Robertson includes the Council’s
ambitious housing programme
which is why the BPF, developers and private sector partners are all slavering at the prospect of more profits from Cornwall’s out-of-control property boom.
Not content with the current helter-skelter journey to a million people in Cornwall by the end of the century Robertson and Cornwall Council’s Cabinet brazenly intend to speed it up. But are all the other councillors really so keen on handing Cornwall over to the property developers in this manner? Have they ever been asked?
|Our guest blogger - Old Knocker|
slightly higher than business as usual
20% increase on the level of growth experienced over the last few years
some impact on the environment and some green field land would be needed – but not as much for higher growth options
the Core Strategy does not perform well in meeting the environmental objectives for Cornwall
they should not get planning permission if they harm the vitality and viability of nearby town centres.
|Sainsburys Helston. But could be any town.|
|Helston - no-one around|
take a lead in the green agenda … achieve a leading position in sustainable living … be a green peninsula … reduce greenhouse gas emissions … make the most of our environment
providing at least 48,000 houses in the period 2010-2030
prosper through housing
build a stronger ecological cohesion and network of multi functional green infrastructure in Cornwall.
Cornwall’s Super Green Spine
|Cornwall's backbone - its Super Green Spine|
careful use of natural resources
maintain the cultural distinctiveness of our communities
‘iconic landmarks’ and ‘secret culinary hideaways’ just waiting for ‘hungry tourists’.
programmes in early evening that appeal to an older audience with “old-fashioned” tastes
a great weekend – have a fun one
the company’s ties to Plymouth and Quentin’s connection to Devon’ and its ‘strong west country roots’.
|Reach for the sick bag - Caroline's coming|
especially like to hear from anyone in the art, horticultural, history or hospitality business which best sums up Cornwall
'economic growth within environmental limits'
|Can we step off the escalator? Cornwall's population|
will unlock much-needed local infrastructure and get the homes we need built.
improve the lives of local residents in Truro and Falmouth and … reduce congestion
|Dear of her. Sarah Newton|
improve the lives of local residents
Cornwall Council, which is deciding on the housing targets for Cornwall in its Core Strategy and therefore the acceptable future population of Cornwall, can no longer be distinguished from the developer lobby. There is no level playing field any more. Now judge is not only jury but accused as well. For Cornwall Council has enthusiastically signed up to a growth at all costs agenda, one that threatens to make already unsustainable rates of housing and population growth catastrophically worse.
The evidence mounts up. For example.
1) The Office for National Statistics produces detailed estimated population projections. These vary wildly from one projection to the next but currently project a massive growth of 97,500 in Cornwall’s population over the next twenty years. This will take it to 637,000 by 2031 (nearly double what it was in 1961).
If that wasn’t bad enough the Council’s consultants on its Employment Land Review in 2010 - Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (nearest office Cardiff) - pointed out that the ONS forecasts
do not take account of policy aspirations for growth within the county
They calculated that even Cornwall Council’s ‘low growth’ scenario of 45,000 houses equates to a 104,560 population growth.
2) Or take the much-derided Can Do Cornwall document, Cornwall Council’s pitiful attempt to transform itself from a democratically elected body to a private limited company. In this it states that the Council
is designing an ambitious 10-year programme to deliver 30,000 … homes
Yet its own ‘preferred’ housing target is supposed to be 48,000 in 20 years. The 30,000 suggests the really preferred agenda is 60,000 houses or more.
3) Or there’s the Masterplans, for which up-country consultants are paid ridiculous amounts of money to tell us to cover our land in concrete in order to accommodate more in-migrants. The Council’s Planning Advisory Panel unanimously accepted a consultation on the Bodmin Masterplan, despite the fact that this plan blithely proposed building 5,000-6,000 houses in Bodmin. This more than doubled even the highest insane building scenario in the Council’s own original Core Strategy proposals. But it was tamely legitimated rather than treated with the contempt it deserved.
Eagle-eyed readers of the local press will this week have noticed an announcement from Cornwall Council. This states that consultation on the Council’s preferred Core Strategy begins next Monday and continues for the next eight weeks.
This isn’t just some tedious piece of bureaucracy, of no interest to anyone but planning anoraks. Or at least it shouldn’t be. The Core Strategy is the plan that sets out the framework for development over the next twenty years. The council, in partnership with developers, most of whom are from up-country, want massive housing growth to continue over this period. While the Core Strategy will contain a number of issues, its central element is the housing target.
The higher this figure the easier it is for developers to argue for specific developments such as the massive plans in the pipeline for Truro, or the various proposals that keep re-surfacing near St Austell, or the Duchy’s greedy drive to suburbanise land around Newquay. If those are turned down they can go to appeal citing the ‘requirement’ for a large number of houses in the holy grail of the Core Strategy.
Conversely, if the housing target is lower it becomes more difficult for developers to get away with this argument. And easier for planning committees to reject building plans.
Don’t be fooled by the argument that in the current economic climate these houses are unlikely to be built. This is a 20 year plan and the housing market will sooner or later recover. Markets rise and fall. Moreover, the well-funded developers’ lobby is certainly not letting the current depression distract them. They campaigned hard for as high a housing figure as possible in the earlier consultation on the Strategy. The developers realise that if they win the battle of the Core Strategy then the war is also half-won.
Despite that, the vast majority of comments on the first round of consultation from individuals, organisations and parish councils with no vested interests came down on the side of housing totals much lower than the Council’s preferred 54,000. (Actually 81% of individuals, all parish councils and all voluntary organisations wanted fewer. Needless to say, the Council ignored all these in favour of the 87% of businesses who wanted more.)
Many of those arguing for a lower total were excellent submissions - look for Core Strategy Options Report Chapter 3 Response Report here. All now need to be re-submitted. And we need thousands more to add their voices to these, to stand up and say enough is enough.
For the consultation background papers – available to read here from next Monday – will no doubt be extremely coy about the core issue of the Core Strategy. They much prefer us to argue about where to place the deckchairs rather than point to the looming iceberg ahead.
Let’s not lose sight of that iceberg:
Do you want a Cornwall in your grandchildrens’ lifetime that will contain twice as many people as it now does? And more than three times the built-up area? Whose Cornwall is it? Ours or the profiteers’?
- The vast majority of housing is ‘needed’ in order to ‘accommodate’ in-migration
- Cornwall’s population has grown by 172,000 (the equivalent of seven or eight Penzances, Truros or St Austells) over the past 50 years. This 50% growth in half a century has signally failed to solve our economic problems. Though it’s succeeded in diminishing our quality of life and degrading our environment.
- On current trends Cornwall’s population is set to top a million before this century is out
This Core Strategy ‘consultation’ – even in its flawed form – gives us the opportunity to make a stand against the Council-developer partnership that is quietly and with no democratic mandate steamrollering us towards a Cornwall which treats our landscape as just a convenient cash-cow. To reject the grim, grey, growth scenario being engineered for us we have to reject this Strategy and its housing targets. Mindless growth needs to be replaced by a Core Strategy that puts local needs and Cornish distinctiveness at its heart, allowing our land to recover from a half-century of ‘place-shaping’ in the interest of profits.
...............................................................................1.2 million people*1100 Truro housesTen developersNine brave councillorsEight top consultantsSeven % second homesSix useless MPsFive eco-villagesFour supermarketsThree point four million pounds for an airportTwo Truro park and ridesAnd a stadium [not] entirely for free
1. Redruth 942. Penzance 843. Liskeard 834. Newquay 825= Truro and Bodmin 667. Camborne 658= Lanson and Hayle 6410. Penryn 6311= Falmouth and St Austell 6213= Callington and Bude 5815. Illogan 5116. Looe/St Martin 4717. St Ives 4518. Ludgvan/Towednack 4419. Helston 4320. Camelford 41
|Keeping the streets safe in Redruth. 'Ere, drop that litter, did 'ee pard?'|
1. Lynher 103= Week St Mary/Whitstone, St Keverne, Valency (near Boscastle) and South Petherwin 126. Meneage 13
7. St Endellion/St Kew 149= St Cleer/St Neot, Goldsithney, Probus and Marhamchurch 1512= St Ewe and North Petherwin 1615= Stithians, Grenville, Landrake/St Dominick and Feock/Kea 1718= Devock/Sheviock and Mullion 1821= Roseland, Stokeclimsland and Altarnun 19
1100 Truro houses (not forgetting 400 more. Oh, and another 1,100 on top of that right next door)*..................................................................................
Nine brave councillors
Eight top consultants
Seven % second homes
Six useless MPs
Three point four million pounds for an airport
Two Truro park and ridesAnd a stadium [not] entirely for free
Nine brave councillors
Eight top consultants
Seven % second homes
Six useless MPs
Three point four million pounds for an airport
Two Truro park and ridesAnd a stadium entirely for free
|Olympics - off|