KEVICC – DVLT Changes it’s own Articles…

KEVICC/DVLT has changed its articles to avoid community obligations, scrutiny and accountability.

Goalpost Moving

KEVICC/DVLT has suddenly changed its articles to avoid its pre-existing obligation to act for community benefit and to implement a Community Forum to ensure community scrutiny and accountability. The Why This Field campaign believes that this must have been done by KEVICC/DVLT to avoid community obligations, scrutiny and accountability with respect to the sale of the upper Lower Field and Elmhirst Building.

In July 2022, Dart Valley Learning Trust (DVLT) – which owns King Edward VI Community College (KEVICC) and the land that is to be sold for much-needed improvements and development – changed its articles of association. These are a set of rules that define the obligations of the Trust. Unfortunately, because these changes have only just become publicly available and spotted by an exceptionally hawk-eyed supporter, we have only now found out about these changes.

Within the context of a controversial land sell-off, this is a serious move. Even more serious is the fact that these changes very specifically downgrade the obligations, scrutiny and accountability that KEVICC/DVLT has to the local community; that’s you and me, folks!

It would appear that KEVICC/DVLT is committed to continuing to ignore the wish of the community that it sell the upper Lower Field and Elmhirst Building to Totnes Town Council (our consultation showed that 91% support this).

Why did this change in July?

These changes appear to have swiftly followed two meetings with the headteacher of KEVICC. One of the meetings was with two of the Why This Field? (WTF) Campaign team (Caroline Voaden and Lisa Smallridge) and the other was with our South Hams District Councillor, John Birch. In both meetings, the obligations of DVLT to the people Totnes – according to its own articles – and its evident failure to fulfil these obligations over the past few years was emphasised. This was also expressed in a letter from WTF’s legal advisor to the trustees.

The WTF campaign team feels angry, dismayed, let down, betrayed and frustrated at the arrogance, hypocrisy and duplicity that is demonstrated by these actions. Maybe you do too?

However, here’s the rub. The WTF legal advisor has informed us that the Trust changing its articles in the way that it did is itself a contravention of its articles. The metaphor that springs to mind is digging oneself even deeper into a hole. WTF’s legal advisor has now written to explain this to the DVLT trustees, Education South West (the academy trust that KEVICC is due to join on 1 September) along with James Cleverly MP (secretary of state for education) and Baroness Barran in the Department of Education.

We urge you to write to as many important people as possible about this. Please see the list of email addresses on this webpage: someone-important/.

WTF has always been very supportive of KEVICC and its need to develop its buildings for the future. However, at this stage, it appears prudent to distinguish between support for the school and opprobrium for the people running the school and trust.

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