New school could change educational structures in town

Plans to build a new high school in Alnwick could be the catalyst for transforming educational structures in the town, a leading councillor has claimed.

Coun Gordon Castle believes it is time to grab the bull by the horns and make the development, earmarked for land in Greensfield, a ‘bigger and better’ establishment.

He believes one option is to create a facility which would incorporate the town’s middle and high school pupils.

And he is calling a meeting with headteachers in the town to listen to their feedback about how to develop education in Alnwick.

It follows recent, critical Ofsted reports in the county and the controversial letter from Daljit Lally.

He said: “We have to move on from this confrontational position. I want to mediate this issue and ensure we build a partnership between the county council and headteachers.

“I have invited headteachers in Alnwick to a meeting in early January, which will give me a chance to hear their views about the future of education in Alnwick and see how we might be able to proceed in mutual cooperation to ensure we have the best possible outcome for children in the town.

“We must raise the confidence in the capability of schools in Alnwick to produce the highest possible standards in education and I want to hear what the professionals think.

“My personal view, which isn’t the most important, is that we haven’t got the right structure at the moment. We are paying premium price for an uneven result. We need to see how we can move forward.

“I feel the new school offers an opportunity for a new learning environment, which could absorb the present complement of middle schools into one educational institution, creating a seamless transition.”