Council agrees investment in Haltwhistle school
04 Mar 2019 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
Young people in Haltwhistle are set to learn in updated and more modern teaching spaces after Northumberland County Council agreed to invest up to £2.5m in upgrading the existing middle school site so that it can become a new primary school for the town.
Following a recent consultation, WISE Academies, who run the current middle and first schools, have agreed that they will discontinue the middle academy and extend the age range of the first academy to offer primary provision at Haltwhistle.
The council has been working with the academy to decide on the best site option to ensure that high quality facilities are provided which will meet the aspirations of parents, young people and the wider Haltwhistle community.
The funding will allow the academy to convert the current middle school buildings to accommodate the new primary school, which it is expected will be established from September 2019.
The middle school site is the preferred of the two sites because it offers more opportunity to expand education provision and will provide greater flexibility for the young people to learn in the new primary setting.
Councillor Wayne Daley, deputy leader and cabinet member for children’s services at the council said: “I am very pleased to be able to announce this funding. It will enable us to provide high quality learning environments for young people in the Haltwhistle area.
“This represents further investment in education in West Northumberland and demonstrates our commitment to all children in Northumberland. We look forward to working with WISE Academies on this project.”
Councillor Ian Hutchinson, county councillor for the Haltwhistle Ward, said: “I am delighted that the council's leadership have listened to my pleas for better educational facilities in Haltwhistle and allocated this important funding in the budget.
"I am also pleased that it has been agreed that refurbishing the current middle school site is the best option, and one which I believe and will provide our children with the start in life they so rightly deserve.
"Parents and children have experienced some uncertain times recently about educational futures due to mismanagement by previous academies. I am very confident that under the wing of WISE Academies and the watchful eye of their CeO Zoe Carr the future is good.
"I have every faith that this represents a new beginning for education in Haltwhistle.”
Zoe Carr, chief executive of WISE Academies said: “We are delighted with this investment of up to the £2.5m into education in Haltwhistle and believe this will enable us to create a great learning environment for the young people of the town.
“WISE have worked in partnership with Northumberland County Council, MP Guy Opperman, Cllr. Ian Hutchinson and the local town council in order to secure this funding and look forward to continuing this strong collaboration as we move forward together.
“The feedback from meetings with parents and the community made it clear that the people of Haltwhistle wanted a school to be proud of and we feel that this funding will go a long way in enabling us to meet their aspirations.
"I am pleased to report that our application to make the significant changes at Haltwhistle was well received by the Regional School Commissioner and her Headteacher Board who have recommended approval to Ministers. We expect a positive response from the Secretary of State in the next few days. Upon this approval, we will be conducting a listening period to enable staff and other stakeholders to raise questions and make suggestions about how this transition is managed well.”