Glendale Middle School in Wooler praised by Ofsted inspectors

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A school which has been earmarked for closure has been praised by inspectors.

Glendale Middle School in Wooler has retained its ‘Good’ rating from Ofsted.

The school is scheduled to close on August 31, 2026 as part of a Berwick Partnership reorganisation which will see a move from a three-tier to two-tier education system.

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Headteacher Mike Deane-Hall said: “We’re very pleased. It reflects the great work being done by staff and the community around the school.

Glendale Middle School.Glendale Middle School.
Glendale Middle School.

"It’s an odd situation to be in though in that the expectation is that Glendale Middle will not exist in a couple of years and that’s a great shame because it’s a good school.”

However, he also acknowledged the difficulty of maintaining a school which has seen pupil numbers fall to under 100.

This is largely down to the declining rural population, while some students move to Duchess’s Community High School in Alnwick when they begin Key Stage 3, the final two years of middle school.

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“The community is very supportive of the work we do but there is an acknowledgement that we are a very small school, certainly compared to the Berwick middle schools also facing closure,” said Mr Deane-Hall.

"There are demographic issues – fewer children in what is a very rural catchment – and having to manage that has its difficulties but Ofsted recognise that we are a very caring and inclusive school and our pupils are happy.”

He added: "There will still be a first school so education will continue in Wooler.”

Ofsted, who were carrying out their first inspection of the school since the Covid pandemic, noted: ‘Pupils behave very well in lessons. They work hard and achieve well.'

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There was also praise for the ‘ambitious, broad and well-sequenced curriculum’, with leaders, including governors, reported as having a clear understanding of the strengths and priorities for the school’.

The two-tier move was approved by Northumberland County Council last year with a commitment to invest over £41 million on schools in the Berwick Partnership, including a new building for Berwick Academy.

From September 2025, the partnership’s first schools will expand their age range up to 11 to become primary schools and Berwick Academy will become an age 11 to 18 secondary academy from September 2026.

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