Headteacher hopeful on project start date

Ponteland Community High School
Ponteland Community High School
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The headteacher of Ponteland High School is hopeful that work will be able to get under way on the school blocks element of a major new project at the end of next month.

The scheme, which includes a new primary and secondary school and replacement leisure centre, ties in with the change to a two-tier system for most of Ponteland’s schools.

Their future planning is on the basis that the new educational facilities will be open for the start of the new school year in September 2019.

Pont High headteacher Kieran McGrane said after last week’s Northumberland County Council strategic planning committee meeting that the date which has been earmarked for work to start at the site is February 26.

He added: “Hopefully, the timetable will go ahead as planned because it will give a degree of clarity and certainty to the community.

“Seeing the builders at the site in the next couple of months will give reassurance that the new schools will be ready for September 2019.

“The high school and Ponteland Primary School have been involved with this project on a weekly basis since autumn 2016.

“The council has been brilliant in enabling us to help shape the schools as primary and secondary schools and have an input into how all three blocks will work together.”

If the application receives planning permission, the new building would be organised into three clear and distinct elements – the crescent, primary and secondary blocks.

Each block would be unique in its scale, appearance and use, while being identifiable as part of a larger building.

Additional classrooms were constructed for the primary schools at Whalton, Stamfordham, Belsay and Heddon-on-the-Wall to enable re-organisation and Darras Hall Primary School’s new build is set to be completed in time for the new school year in September 2018.

County council leader Peter Jackson said after the meeting: “This administration is determined to drive up standards in education in Northumberland and part of this drive is a willingness to invest in our schools.”