EDUCATION: Setting the record straight

Lalage Bosanquet
Lalage Bosanquet

With reference to Colin Grimes’ letter of January 29, I would like to correct some inaccuracies

The governing body of the Aln Federation has not decided to ‘forge ahead with the merger of the two middle schools in Alnwick’. Our original request to the local authority was to go out to consultation over a considerable period of time to see if such a merger would improve the educational provision for all the children in years nine to 13. That is all.

We did not make a decision to carry out a merge, neither was it a ‘done deal’. We requested further information from the local authority before we could even consider beginning such a consultation. Our request has been absorbed into the local authority consultation for two or three-tier education which is a different issue altogether.

With reference to the statement that ‘parents are not well represented on the governing body’, I would like to point out that eight of our governors have children attending schools in the Aln Federation and three more have children who attended in the past.

It is true that the Federation of schools has academy orders in place but they have been there since 2011 when a full consultation was carried out with all stakeholders.

We were prevented from becoming an academy then by the Department for Education because of the nature of the buildings we occupy and that is still the case. We have no plans at the moment to become an academy school.

We are working closely with the local authority to try to resolve the issues raised by their consultation which for us are very complex.

It would be to everyone’s benefit if people would listen to what we are trying to say instead of jumping to the wrong conclusions.

We are a very hard working body of volunteers who have helped to achieve a national award for the Duke’s school and to see the Duchess’s High School rated as one of the top three schools in the area for progress at both KS4 and KS5.

We intend that Lindisfarne Middle School will soon follow. No one cares more for the educational welfare of the children in our schools than we do.