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Aquinas College, Heaviley

Dodgy LibDems Aquinas College

For the new £42 million college you have bought Aquinas (I have tried to correct their typographical errors where possible):-

It can be seen that over B0% of students studying at Aquinas live within the
borough. A recent postcode analysis of the current students shows a similar
pattern( referenceA ppendixB ).
Stockport is England's most diverse borough - being the only one to have
wards in both the top and the bottom 3 percentiles of the Index of Multiple
Deprivation.O ur Brinningtons ite is the only collegep rovisioni n the poorest
ward in the borough. This openness characterises the wider attitude of the
college, where, despite the huge over-subscriptionw, e refuse to become
academicallsye lective.
Historical Background
The collegec ontinuesa long historyo f providinge ducationa nd trainingi n the
community, dating back to the middle of the nineteenth century. The site was
formerly an 11-16 secondary-moderns chool constructedi n 1956 and was
originallyd esignedt o meett he needso f approximatel5y0 0 11-16s choolchildren.
The reorganisationo f Catholice ducationo n the borough in 1975 saw its status
change to that of a comprehensive school. In 1980 it became a sixth form
college - the first in the borough of Stockport.
Aquinas College opened in its original premises in 1980. The college was
designatedin 1993.
The college property portfolio consists of a single site, seven-block college
located just over one mile from Stockport town centre adjacent to a major arterial
route (46) served by frequent bus services, within approx 6 acres of landscaped
grounds. lt lies in a mainly residentiala rea with excellent public transport
services and within easy reach of the M60.
The college occupies 9,472m2 gross internal floor area (GIFA ) and the majority
of the buildingsa re linkedt o each other.T he college'sp reviousa ccommodation
strategiesh ave endeavouredt o addresst he under-provisiono f teachings pace.
These projects have been driven by limited affordabilitya nd old FEFC criteria
and have led to a series of modestly sized buildings adjacent to, and extensions
of the old existings econdarym oderns choolb uildingT. his has led to a complex
and inadequate facility that will not meet the demands of the reform of further
education as outlined in the government's key strategies for success. Nor will it
meet the college'sp otentialf or growthb ased on currentp erformance.
The refurbishment programmes have inevitably resulted in some compromises.
The size and shape of rooms are constrained by load bearing walls, drainage
systems,t he possiblep resenceo f asbestosa nd the availabilityo f naturall ight.
Aquinas College Business Case
482151J2a nuary 2005 - 1 4 -
AA Projects Ltd"

"4.4.4 Aims
Underpinning the development plans of the past three years is the college's
aim to be an educational communityw hich:
. valuesa ll its studentsa s individualas nd valuesa ll typeso f learning
. providesa highl evelo f learnings upport
. encourages active student involvement in their own learning and lifelong
. embraces the philosophyo f widening participationi,n cluding 14 - 16
students and adult learners
. works in partnershipw ith parents,l ocale mployersa nd the community
. contributesto the educationalr,e ligiousc, ulturaal nd economicw ell beingo f
all its students.

4.4.5 Objectives
The college's continuing strategic objectives are:
. To control the severe over-subscriotiona nd to achieve stability in student
. To continue to expand the provision for adult education
. To monitor and review the curriculum initiatives introducedin 2000 in order
to sustain high quality learning
. To maintain the levels of investment to sustain the high standards in
learning resources in both the Learning Resources Centre and the lT
. To carry out a major review of its property strategy and then obtain capital
resources and the approval of the LSC to implement the rest of the
college's accommodation needs.
. To carry out priority actions arising from its SENDA audit.
o To continue to set targetsf or improvements in quality procedures.
o To maintain progress in improving health and safety systems.
o To maintain its prudent approach to budgeting.
. To establish a fully qualified workforce by 2010.
The proposed development of the college's estate is essential in order for the
college to deliver its mission and achieve its aims and objectives as outlined
above. lt will dramatically improve college facilities and promote a modern,
dynamic and accessible learning environment for the current level of student
Aquinas College Business Gase
4821512Ja nuary 2005 - t o -
AA Projects Ltd"

"This college should be of benefit to the whole community in every way and for the full length of the day. They live adjacent to it and it affects their lives daily in many ways and consequently it should enhance their life experiences and not be something they simply have to tolerate."

"This building will have a lifespan of circa 10 - 20 years and then a rapid downhill race trying to maintain the behemoth."

"4.4.7 The projections for full-time student growth in the Strategic Plan are minimal.
Despite our target to retain a constant number of students, our popularity means
that the college continues to experience an annual nominal growth in numbers.
Consequently the proposed development reflects that growth and anticipates
having 1 700 fulltime students on roll in 2005-6.
4.5 Consistency with Needs Analysis
4.5.'l The college's Needs Analyses continue to indicate that the premises are
insufficient for the number of students. The proposed development will lead to
an improved but not significantly different curriculum offer for the main 16-19
cohort. lt will ensure that the students benefit from a learning environment
appropriate to the 21'' Century. For students with disabilities the provision of
100% SENDA compliance will ensure that the college can respond more
effectively to their needs.
4.6 Consistency with Strategic Objectives
4.6.1 There are several strategic objectives in the 3-year development plan for which
this proposal will have the greatest impact.
4.6.2 lmproved Learning Facilities: These proposals will allow the provision of modern
facilities to better serve the present student numbers. They address the longstanding
accommodation needs for some specific areas. They also address
those accommodation short-comings criticised in the recent Ofsted inspection.
(See section4 .8.4) Most importantly they result in a building design which
provides a stimulating environment for all students and staff and provides the
best possible facilities to enhance teaching and learning of the college's
curriculum offer. lt will be "A college for the Future" to be valued by all.
4.6.3 Inclusion: lt will allow us to better provide for learners with needs for access to
all areas of the curriculum.
Widening Participation:lt will allow us to improve participation for those groups
who are under-represented at present.
Learning Support: The provision of an adequately sized LRC will allow the
learning support department to give a wider range of educational approaches to
the individual learners who require it.
Christian Environment: lt will provide an integrated chaplaincy and religious
studies suite  o allow a physical focus f or the college's C hristian mission.
14-19 Pathfinder project: The provision would allow an expansion of the 14-16
learning activities that are proving to be successful in the current pilot scheme.
lmproving Employer Engagement: The activities outlined in the development
plan could be expanded with an integrated employment awareness centre.
Aquinas College Business Case
482151J2a nuary2 005 - 1t aI -
AA Projects Ltd"

Where is the replacement open space and replacement playing fields available for the general public referred to in the letter above?  More lies from Stockport Council.

The college has never had any intention of allowing the local community to use its facilities. They do not want to work outside their normal hours. The Learning Skills Council inexplicably gave them  95% funding. It should have been conditional on them maximising use of those facilities for the local community. They are not interested.  The Principal demanded it all be accommodated in one building.

The college has failed every year to hit its target on students despite the LSC demanding (at funding stage) that there were no increases in student uptake.

The Learning Skills Council  has had a changeover  with a new Chief. The previous one, Mark Haysom left  allegedly after some misdemeanours. He was responsible for the funding of Aquinas.  The new Chief Exec was  Geoff Russell.

The method of piling used on the new college  were non-percussion cast in-situ piles. During the placement of foundation piles using the method indicated above, monitoring should be carried out during the piling installation. Should there be any noticeable damage caused by the piling activities, the works should be stopped immediately and the SO informed accordingly.

Two grout cubes of 100 mm size should be made for each pile for unconfined compression testing, and additional sets of cubes should be made on any batch of grout used in piles, which appear to deviate from project criteria. The grout sample used to make these compressive testing specimens should be representative of the material in the pile and should be obtained from the grout pump hopper at the time of pumping, the auger or the pile itself.

In addition, the Contractor should sample each truckload of grout directly from the pump hopper using a 225 to 350 ml capacity disposable glass or cup when the grout truck reaches the site to evaluate premature setting or Structural Engineering Branch, Arch. SD Page 6 of 13 File code: SEI 2/08.doc SE Instruction No. 2/2008 MKW Issue Date: 21.5. 2008 Revision Date: “initial set” of the grout mix.

Reinforcement cages should be installed immediately upon completion of the grouting operation and before the grout reaches its initial set. The reinforcement cage should be free of soil, auger spoil or other deleterious materials prior to insertion into the grouted shafts. The reinforcement cage should fall freely under its own weight to the specified level within the shaft; vibration or pushing of the cage with equipment is not allowed. Notwithstanding Annex F of Section 5 of the GS, Pile Integrity Test using Pulse Echo Method/Transient Response Method (Vibration Test) shall be carried out for 15% of the number of PIP piles installed.

Mrs Oliver,

I refer to the question you submitted by e mail for the Executive Meeting on 18 January, 2010. I presume you are content to receive a response by e mail.

For ease of reference the question is reproduced below -

"When planning matters legally have to be in the public domain, why are the details of the presumed overbuild at Aquinas being kept secret from the public?"

Your question was duly put at the Executive Meeting but as you were not present it was stated that you would be provided with a written response as permitted by the procedures agreed by the Council.

Councillor Kevin Hogg (Executive Councillor (Regeneration)) has asked me to respond to your question on his behalf.
It is noted that the issue you have raised is the subject of a request from you made under the Freedom of Information Act on 22 December, 2009. An officer is currently preparing a full response with appropriate documentation which will be sent to you within the required FOI timescale.

In accordance with the procedure for dealing with public questions, I am copying this response to all executive councillors for information.


Mike Iveson
Head of Committee Services
Chief Executive's Directorate
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
( 0161 474 3208
) 07973 319071
Fax: 0161 474 3328
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