Parents see details of shake-up

Parents and members of the Ponteland community have been able to see more details of proposals for a shake-up of education in the area.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 05 May, 2016, 17:44
A design image for the Ponteland secondary and primary schools and leisure site preferred option in the current consultation.

And Northumberland County Council has set out why a different site has been put forward if the new primary and secondary school buildings are constructed.

The consultation in relation to Belsay, Stamfordham, Ponteland and Darras Hall First Schools, Ponteland Community Middle School and Ponteland Community High School has included two recent events at Ponteland Memorial Hall and the high school.

Those who attended were able to find out more about the implications for each school if the proposals went ahead and how the changes would be implemented.

Among the stands at the events were images showing the preferred option for the potential new Ponteland Community High School, which would become a secondary school, and Ponteland Primary School.

They would be located at the current leisure centre site – this new site would also include leisure facilities.

The previously planned development was based upon the proposal to construct a new first, middle and high school on a shared site on land to the east of the existing Ponteland high and middle school buildings. The response from the schools and parents was mainly negative.

A county council spokeswoman said: “We have listened to the views of parents and the Ponteland community about the location of new schools and leisure facilities during the consultation last November and looked again at site options.

“The option in the consultation paper is to develop on the existing leisure centre site, which brings the schools closer to the community and the town centre.

“However, we welcome views on this and any alternative options as part of the consultation.”

The Church of England schools in the partnership, Heddon on the Wall St Andrew’s First School, Whalton First School and Richard Coates Middle School, are running their own consultation in conjunction with the council’s consultation.

Richard Coates has proposed an alternative transition model that would see it become an age three to 13 school from September 2017.

There are 3,258 children attending schools in the Ponteland Partnership, with just over half living in the partnership catchment area.

The rest are from the greater Ponteland catchment, other parts of Northumberland and locations in the Newcastle City Council area.