‘Current success is clear reason against merger proposals’

Dukes Middle School, Alnwick
Dukes Middle School, Alnwick

A group of parents fighting against the closure of an Alnwick school – or its merger with another school – are highlighting that it has been ranked number one in the county.

At the end of last year, Northumberland County Council published proposals for the restructuring of schools in north Northumberland, following requests from the Alnwick Partnership, which is made up of 10 community schools with an added eight church-funded schools as voluntary members.

The county council’s report sets out three models for the future, with one being no change to the current arrangement of schools in the area.

Another would see the amalgamation of the Duke’s and Lindisfarne Middle Schools on the Lindisfarne site from September 2015, following the closure of Lindisfarne Middle School in August.

Lalage Bosanquet, chairman of governors for the Aln Federation (Lindisfarne, the Duke’s and the Duchess’s) has explained that the governing body wants to merge the two middle schools to ‘make a new, stronger and more sustainable school’, albeit in September 2016, a year later than in the consultation document.

And it is primarily to fight this option that the Duke’s School Action Group has been created.

The group is now pointing to the recent publication of the Real Schools Guide in a regional newspaper, which ranks the Duke’s Middle School as the best primary school in Northumberland and 541st out of 15,109.

The ranking is based on schools’ results, teaching, progress and attendance.

However, as this is a primary ranking, it does not necessarily include data for Years 7 and 8.