Rye Observer Comment: Rye College... setting sail for uncharted waters

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Exciting times ahead for Rye College which is looking to break away from the local education authority and go it alone by applying to become an academy.

In many ways this is a maiden voyage into the unknown, leaving the relatively safe harbour of the local education authority and setting sail for uncharted waters.

The new academy system has not yet been tried and tested, there are no existing charts to navigate by which show where the potential icebergs could be.

And the new system already has its critics with some saying that this is privatisation by the back door.

One thing we do know for certain is that the College is in good hands with Ann Cockerham and her team.

In the two decades we have been reporting on the college the vessel has never been in better shape.

Exam results have improved year on year, as have facilities on the site and we have seen the college play a lead role in creating exciting new community events in the town such as the colourful street carnival in July.

And let’s not forget, the real treasure to be discovered on this voyage is the prospect of Rye getting back post 16 education. It could make a real difference to our young people and will provide greater choice.

No new discoveries were ever made without a spirit of exploration and adventure and whatever the unknown risks we wish the College well in this brave new enterprise.

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Battle Observer Comment: Lessons must be learnt

THE sad inquest of Susannah Anley, who took her own life at a mental health unit, took place at Eastbourne this week.

After being admitted to the unit, this vulnerable woman was left alone with a plastic bag and a belt, which should have been confiscated on her arrival.

And despite being a known suicide risk, she was left alone and unchecked for a whole two hours.

It appears this vulnerable woman was let down by the very healthcare professionals who were supposed to protect her.

Lets hope that lessons are learnt from this terrible tragedy.

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Keane, who are playing two gigs at the De La Warr Pavilion in March, certainly seemed to have kept their local fanbase.

Despite not gracing Hastings and Rother with a gig since 2005, music lovers in the area have stuck by the band, with 70 per cent of tickets sold for the Bexhill gigs going to local fans.

The tickets sold out within minutes, so it seems that even though they have been away from the charts for a while, the Battle boys certainly remained in people’s hearts.