While the proposals for a two-tier system for the Alnwick Partnership have sparked a variety of views, one point that the local authority would definitely refute is that this is a cost-cutting exercise.
If the two-tier model was to go ahead, it would cost almost £10million, which includes £6million to modify the new build of the Duchess’s Community High School.
Money would also be needed to support the conversion of the first schools to primary schools, with the exception of St Michael’s and St Paul’s in Alnwick plus Felton, which all have capacity in their current buildings.
Around £4,5million would come from the council’s medium-term plan, £4,9million from the schools’ capital investment programme and £234,000 from the church schools’ capital grant.
Coun Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “While we are still very much at the consultation stage with the schools partnership and the local community, should a future decision be taken to restructure education within the Alnwick area, we’re committed to making a significant financial investment to make this happen.
“The council has already identified £9.4million towards this work, including £4.9million from the school’s capital investment programme as part of our drive to improve teaching and learning environments across Northumberland schools.”