Mayor demands urgent review of JCSC overhaul

An artists' impression of the school plans, which were unveiled by the Labour group in 2017.
An artists' impression of the school plans, which were unveiled by the Labour group in 2017.

The Mayor of Amble has said that there is an urgent need to revisit a potential upgrade of the town’s James Calvert Spence College (JCSC).

In February last year, the-then Labour administration of Northumberland County Council announced a £9million project to overhaul JCSC.

The scheme intended to bring the middle and high schools together onto one site, relocating the South Avenue-based middle school onto the high-school plot on Acklington Road. A major refurbishment of the high school was also planned.

However, when the Conservative group came into power in May, the new authority said that plans for JCSC would instead be considered as part of a wider review of school and college developments across the county.

At the time, leader Coun Peter Jackson claimed that the scheme had never been formally agreed by the previous council and he was yet to see a business case, but the council would work with JCSC to draw up a viable, sustainable scheme.

At Amble Town Council last Thursday, Mayor Jane Dargue said it was time for action.

She said: “There is an urgent need for the JCSC upgrade to be reviewed and we continue to press for it and we are all working hard to achieve it.

“Statistics which I have seen show a potential capacity issue and there are also the issues of an ageing split-site school.

“I am urging the county council to talk to the school and go on a site visit so they can see the issues that the schools deal with on a daily basis.”