Editor’s comment: The time is now

IF ever we were close to actually getting a new high school for Alnwick, this is it.

The bid to replace the ageing Duchess’s Community High School has finally been submitted to the Government by Northumberland County Council and over the coming weeks, ministers will look at the applications.

A decision is expected in December on where the money will be allocated.

We can only hope that they will see it our way and finally accept the overwhelming body of evidence which has been presented to them over the years. Only they can end this disgraceful situation for once and for all.

The success of the Duchess’s High is a lynchpin in the future of education in the Alnwick area for generations to come.

If the funding is approved, it will allow a properly-planned, fit-for-purpose school to be built, most likely at Greensfield on the southern side of town.

But it will also herald new opportunities for other schools within the Duchess’s federation, which ultimately could also relocate to the new site and benefit from vastly-improved premises and playing grounds.

However, that is still some distance off and it would be wise not to put the proverbial cart before the horse. Talk of ‘removing the need’ for the Duke’s Middle, at this stage, is unhelpful, unnecessary and can only serve to worry staff, parents and children.

Let’s get the Duchess’s sorted first – when that happens, at least we will have a solid base on which to lay firm foundations for the future of education in our community.