SCHOOLS: Solution is more places

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Parents of children in the Morpeth Schools Partnership (myself included) will have received notice of a consultation as to the admissions policy of the Three Rivers Academy, which runs our middle schools and high school, all of which fall within my electoral division.

The current admission policy, favoured by parents, is that continuity of education takes priority over catchment area.

The county council is putting on pressure to make catchment the primary concern, apparently as the only way it sees to deal with the looming school places shortage, caused by 3,000 extra houses in the town, is to kick non-catchment kids out of Morpeth schools.

We now have a situation that is pitting new residents within the catchment against established out-of-catchment children already in the system.

Morpeth schools are rightly popular and parents want to send their children here. There is a genuine educational need for more provision, therefore the solution is to provide more places within Morpeth.

There are many ways, including a new free school, that this can be achieved.

I hope that a solution can be found.

David Bawn

Member for

Morpeth North