Pressing the need for school build

Clare Mills with Schools Minister David Laws.
Clare Mills with Schools Minister David Laws.

A school governor met the Government minister responsible for schools last week to ensure progress was being made on Alnwick’s new high school.

Governor and Liberal Democrat campaigner Clare Mills met Schools Minister David Laws last Thursday to discuss the new Duchess’s Community High School, as well the need to be able to include more provision for students with moderate special educational needs in the town.

The new build for the high school is making progress, but there are still many details to be worked out before building can begin.

Clare said: “Everyone I’ve spoken to is delighted that we are finally getting new school buildings for Alnwick paid for by central government.

“I was able to talk to the Minister about making sure the new build allows for long-term improvements to Alnwick’s school provision, as well as the urgent replacement of the high school buildings.

“It was also a great opportunity to discuss the need for better provision for children with moderate special educational needs, some of whom currently have to travel long distances each day by taxi, rather than being educated and supported among their peers and within their own communities.”

Last year, it was announced that the Duchess’s Community High School, which had long been the focus of campaigning for a new school, had been selected for the Government’s Priority School Building Programme.

At the time, a target date was set for the start of construction in 2014 and the doors opening in September 2015.

But in March, the Gazette reported that a delay in the procurement process meant that Easter 2016 would be the earliest possible opening date.