School consultations

Here you will find consultation on proposed school partnerships, plans for academies and other changes to schools organisation.

For full details of the consultation proposals for education in Northumberland see the sections below:

Consultation in proposals for reorganisation of schools in the Coquet Partnership is now closed.  The results of the consultation will be analysed and presented in a report to the Council's Cabinet in September this year.

 

The Council's Cabinet met on Tuesday 8 March 2022 to consider the following proposals for Atkinson House School, Seghill Northumberland;

  1. Increase its planned pupil numbers from 80 to 100
  2. Extend the provision to include girls
  3. Relocate the school to the formed building of Richard Coates CE Primary in Ponteland, Northumberland

All the above with effect from 1 September 2022.

Cabinet approved the above proposals for the following reasons:
 
1)  The educational rationale of the proposal to increase SEMH places in Northumberland to meet the growing need for both boys and girls is sound.
 
2)  The proposed building in Ponteland is an appropriate location for Atkinson House, being a former school.
 
3)  The staff and Governing Body of Atkinson House School are fully supportive of the rationale and the proposal.
 
4)  The funding for the necessary suitability works to the proposed building is in place.
 
5)  Cabinet recognises and has considered the safeguarding concerns raised during consultation by Pele Trust, parents at the neighbouring provision and residents.  Therefore, it is an expectation that NCC officers will work with neighbouring schools to ensure that the proposed safeguarding measures to the building are made in collaboration and agreed before putting in place.  There is also an expectation that Atkinson House School will plan for an effective transition of its students, again working collaboratively on an ongoing basis with its neighbours to ensure that these concerns are allayed.
 
6)  In the light of point 5), Cabinet will a require an update on how the transition and operation of the school has worked within 12 months of implementation.
 

Northumberland County Council has committed £39.9m towards the replacement and refurbishment of school buildings in the Berwick Partnership.  However, before carrying out the works to school buildings, the Council needs to know that it is investing in a school structure that will deliver consistently good outcomes for all children and young people and that it is sustainable now and for the future generations to come. 
 
Schools in the Berwick Partnership are facing some specific issues.  In early 2021, Council officers began talking to Headteachers and school Chairs of Governors about how schools could be organised in order to overcome these issues and a number of ‘models’ of organisation were reviewed and assessed - a summary of these discussions and their outcomes is set out in this document.  The key conclusion of these discussions was that before any detailed proposals for individual schools linked to the buildings funding could be brought forward, the views of parents, staff, governors, pupils, the wider public and anyone with an interest in education in the Berwick Partnership area needed to be gathered on the general principle of whether schools should be organised within the current 3-tier (first/middle/high) structure or within the 2-tier (primary/secondary) structure.  Once this principle is established, more detailed proposals for individual schools can be brought forward. 
 
This consultation document sets out those key issues faced by schools in the partnership, an overview of the current structure and the 2-tier structure at a Northumberland and national level, and data and information about pupil numbers and performance of schools.  As a result, I’m afraid this is a long document.  However, we believe it's really important that you are provided with the information that you need to be able to form your views before you respond to this consultation.  You should also bear in mind that this consultation is not a referendum and any decision about the structure of schools will be based on the quality of the educational rationale, not on the number of responses for one structure or another.  So, as well as asking for your thoughts about the 3-tier and 2-tier school structures, we are also asking if you have any alternative suggestions that you think could address the issues raised in this document that would secure a viable school system in the Berwick Partnership for the children and young people living in this area. 
 
We are also running two public events in the coming Summer Term (details later in this document) where you will be able to ask further questions from schools and Council officers – hopefully you will be able to attend one of them.  I really hope that you will take the time and opportunity to submit your views and I look forward to hopefully meeting you in July. 

Link to Your Views on School Organisation - Questionnaire 

Link to Berwick Consultation Document


An online Padlet dedicated to the consultation on school structure is also available by clicking here.