Academy plans are called into question

CONCERNS have been raised about the impact of plans for a Morpeth schools’ academy on Coquetdale pupils.

It was announced last week that the Three Rivers Federation – Morpeth’s King Edward VI (KEVI) High School, attended by pupils from Coquetdale and Longframlington, Chantry Middle School and Newminster Middle School and Technology College – is consulting about becoming an academy.

But questions have been asked about how students who feed into KEVI from Dr Thomlinson’s School in Rothbury will be affected by the change.

Lynn Roxburgh, from Longframlington, whose 16-year-old son Jonathan recently took his GCSEs at KEVI, said: “The heads say they have discussed it with Dr Thomlinson’s and they are happy and can link them in. But financially they won’t be linked in.

“As a church school, Dr Thomlinson’s can’t federate so it leaves the whole thing in limbo. The difficulty is that they announced the consultation on the day the schools broke up so you can’t ask any questions.”

l An update on an application for academy status from four Alnwick schools will be discussed at County Hall today.

According to a report for a county council scrutiny committee, the Duchess’s Community High, Duke’s Middle, Lindisfarne Middle and Alnwick South First – the Aln Community Schools Federation – have a proposed conversion date of September this year but a decision by the Secretary of State is awaited.