RESTRUCTURE: No opposition to high school

As a parent at Embleton First School, I have been following the Alnwick Partnership restructure closely since the first consultation document came out in December.

I saw a reporter at the meetings at County Hall in June and think that your coverage of the issue has been excellent – really informative and balanced.

However, I am writing to you about an article about the proposed expansion of the Duchess’s High School. (Northumberland Gazette, July 23).

It was noted that there has been vocal opposition to a two-tier system from Seahouses and Embleton, but the article implied that this might jeopardise plans to create a well-resourced high school in Alnwick and deprive Alnwick of a unique opportunity to improve educational standards.

It is fair to say that the parents of Embleton school were concerned about the impact that a two-tier system would have upon children in smaller rural schools.

Indeed, if you look at the original consultation responses on the county council website, there were a significant number of schools in the partnership who had these concerns, along with deep reservations about the education board’s management of the consultation.

One of my major worries about the county council’s Model B was the shambolic plan to house Year 7 and 8 children on the Lindisfarne site.

My letter about the proposal said: “Frankly, I could understand the logic of a two-tier structure, if the newly built high school had been planned to offer excellent facilities for all children from Year 7 onwards, if my children could then go on to a state-of-the-art, purpose built secondary school that would provide them with first class facilities when they got there.”

It now seems likely that a two-tier system will prevail throughout the Alnwick area.

Embleton school, under new headship and working in partnership with other local schools, is putting together a strong case to demonstrate that it is capable of providing a broad and balanced curriculum for its students as a primary school in the proposed two-tier system.

The community of Embleton school is not opposed in any way to a new larger high school in Alnwick.

I would therefore be most grateful if this important point could be made clear to readers. If readers in Alnwick are under the impression that Embleton would like to derail plans for a well-resourced new high school, then this could unduly influence their response to the county council’s further consultation and could be disastrous for our school.

Victoria Fyffe

Save Embleton School Parent Group