I am glad that the new school is being accepted by the county authority.
With regard to the funding of our schools, the Government arrangements will be accepted by the county where there is no one of educational training among the senior officers – they are only social services trained.
I was fighting for the county finances from national government as far back as 1981. The snatch from the middle schools is over £1,000 per pupil and that is huge, but the county wants to close the schools in the Glendale valley and centre everything on Alnwick and Berwick.
If that happens, they no longer have governing bodies for the individual middle schools. They insist in Amble and Alnwick on having just two joint lots so there is no one responsible to the single school.
This is a huge amount for Belford and Wooler to lose and will remove choice for parents in a large rural community which, at present, can choose between the three towns.
The loss to the first schools in Rothbury and Wooler is a similar amount and while the county might think the children can go to Alnwick or Berwick, it is much too long a day for five and six-year-olds. I know as I sent my eldest to Alnwick from the Glendale valley in 1961 and she ended up in the fever hospital in Newcastle after getting too tired.
She was much better after returning to Eglingham in 1963.
London has no idea of geography in the borders and recently it has been shown that county at Morpeth is equally ignorant of how our pupils north of Alnwick travel to their schools. I observed the officers who came out to Eglingham church school before its closure, as well as the suggested travel arrangements for my grandson to get to the Duchess’s school come September.
It is going to be essential for the people of rural Northumberland to fight this, because I am absolutely sure the county will not.