Proposals for school organisation in Berwick

Cabinet gives go-ahead to propose two-tier school system in Berwick as part of £40m investment

Have your say on statutory proposals for schools in the Berwick Partnership

Cabinet has approved a recommendation to publish statutory proposals for a two-tier system of education in Berwick and transform education in the area for generations to come. 

A final stage of consultation will now take place - launching on Thursday May 11 - to give all those involved chance to have their say. 
Northumberland County Council has pledged almost £40m to invest in schools in the Berwick Partnership as part of its flagship county-wide education capital programme. 
The proposals include a new building for Berwick Academy and expansion of specialist, post-16 skills, and post-18 provision.   
Consultation has taken place to ensure the school system is sustainable and will deliver the best outcomes for young people following a decline in pupil numbers, an increase in surplus places and children leaving the partnership for neighbouring schools in Scotland and Alnwick.  
A report to Cabinet recommended that a two-tier system of primary and secondary schools is in the best educational interests of children and young people. 
Under the proposed model, the partnership’s first schools would expand their age range up to 11 to become primary schools from September 2025, and Berwick Academy would become an age 11 to 18 secondary academy from September 2026. 
Berwick Middle School, Glendale Middle School and Tweedmouth Community Middle School would close on August 31 2026. 
Belford Primary School would move from the Berwick Partnership catchment to the greater Alnwick Partnership from September 2024. 
Wooler First School would become a primary school and community hub. 
Specialist provision would be expanded with 70 new places created across the partnership for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) specifically for those with primary needs in Social, Emotional and Mental Health and Autism where there is a growing need. 
Further investment will also be made in post-16 skills and post-18 provision.   
A staffing protocol would be developed with a view to retaining school staff from the affected middle schools within the partnership. 
Councillor Guy Renner-Thompson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Services, said: “This is a once in a generation investment that will transform education in the Berwick Partnership. 
It’s vital that we first make sure we have a sustainable school system that will work best for our young people now and long into the future and this will give us the opportunity to do that.
“This report is the latest step in the process, and I’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in the consultation so far. Every comment has been considered and it is very clear that all those involved have the very best interests of pupils and families at heart. 
A four-week statutory consultation will now take place, with a report to Cabinet on its findings and a final recommendation in July and everyone involved will once again have their chance to have their say.” 
The statutory proposal will be published on Thursday 11 May and will be open for consultation until June 8. 

Have your say on statutory proposals for schools in the Berwick Partnership

View all news