Image demonstrating Ministerial backing for new Darras Hall Primary School

Ministerial backing for new Darras Hall Primary School

The Secretary of State for Education has made a visit to a newly built primary school in Northumberland today.

The Rt Hon Damian Hinds MP dropped in at the new £5.8million Darras Hall Primary School - meeting pupils, teachers and politicians - and unveiled a plaque to declare the school officially open.

Mr Hinds was given a tour of the school and saw children working in their new classrooms. Pupils then sang their school song before he was invited to unveil a plaque and say a few words to the assembled school and visitors.

Watch the video to hear more about the recent investments and listen to the Secretary of State talk about his visit to Darras Hall Primary School.

The new primary school, built by Northumberland County Council, features state of the art facilities including 15 classrooms, ‘learning streets’ on both the ground and first floors, two multi use studios, a hall that can be used for both school and community events and a library and reading area.

An outside classroom and a wildlife and garden area will allow the children to grow their own vegetables. The school is also set to have a playing field and multi use outdoor play area, which are due for completion in November.

Cllr Wayne Daley, cabinet member for children’s services and deputy leader of Northumberland County Council welcomed the Secretary of State to the school saying:  “We were delighted that Mr Hinds was able to join us today and to officially declare this fantastic new school open.  This major investment in education in the county has created great new learning and teaching environments for pupils and staff.”

During the visit Cllr Daley took the opportunity to discuss some key issues with the Government Minister, including improving educational outcomes in the region, rural schools, and how Northumberland County Council is working with both academies and maintained schools on school improvement.

They discussed the challenges faced in education in the county and opportunities available within Northumberland, as well as the National Funding Formula and how the council wishes to work with the Regional Schools Commissioner to improve education.

Cllr Daley added:  “We discussed our desire to have local solutions to meet local needs.  As a council we want what is in the best for all young people in Northumberland - regardless of whether they attend an academy or a maintained school.

“I also highlighted to the minister the pressure on our SEND services and our wish to ensure that we have enough suitable places for all children regardless of their individual needs.

“We had very constructive discussions and I hope that we can work together to ensure that all children in Northumberland, as well as in the wider North of Tyne area, have access to the best possible education.”

Secretary of State for Education Damian Hinds said: “I’m in the North East today to unveil a £24 million investment that will help further unlock the immense talent of young people in this region.

“It was a pleasure to see the infectious enthusiasm of teachers and pupils at Darras Hall Primary School and I look forward to seeing them flourish in the coming years.”

The investment into Darras Hall Primary School is part of a wider £57m investment by Northumberland County Council in education and leisure across the Ponteland partnership, which includes a new leisure centre, library and primary and secondary schools set to be built on the site of the existing leisure centre.
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