First decision of Interim Executive Board - to close Ridley Hall

Northumberland County Council has expressed extreme disappointed in the fact that the first decision of a new Interim Executive Board (IEB) at Haydon Bridge High School is to close Ridley Hall, the school’s boarding wing.


The council has learned that the IEB, appointed by the Department for Education (DfE) and Regional Schools Commissioner (RSC), intends to close the boarding wing at the end of the week.


The DfE and Regional Schools Commissioner appointed an IEB who are now legally responsible for the maintenance and running of the school and have also taken control of the delegated budget from the Local Authority.


Daljit Lally, Deputy Chief Executive of Northumberland County Council, said: “We are very disappointed to hear that Ridley Hall will close, and are shocked that we have not had any official confirmation of this from the IEB or DfE.


“Yet the IEB has instructed the Local Authority that any contact with the school has to be with the IEB only.


“In addition, the Local Authority has been directed to have no further involvement with the running of the school.  We had been working closely with the school to make improvements following an Ofsted inspection and provided a number of staff to support this work


“As a result, we have no option but to return our seconded county council members of staff to their usual Local Authority duties.”


Following an Ofsted inspection where the school was placed in Special Measures, the Department for Education made the decision to appoint Bright Tribe Trust to convert Haydon Bridge school into an academy. The council has previously expressed concern in the delays to this process and the impact it has had on pupils and their families.

If parents have any concerns or questions, they are advised to contact the school directly.
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