Tom Sheldrick

Education/Social Affairs, ITV Tyne Tees

Tom is the Education and Social Affairs Correspondent for ITV Tyne Tees. He covers stories relating to schools, colleges, universities and social issues affecting the lives of people in the North East. Previously, he was Education Reporter at ITV Wales.

  1. Tom Sheldrick
  2. Tyne Tees

Northumberland school gets 'protections' against closure

The headteacher of Ponteland Community Middle School says gaining approval to convert to an Academy gives it "protections" if the council decides to push ahead with plans to close it.

Whilst we savour this moment, we also realise there is still much work to do. This Academy Order now gives us a solid platform to commence healing conversations between our schools - and to investigate new ways of working together to provide the three tier structure, within a 3 to 18 school system, that the community have made so clear they would prefer.

The obvious question you will no doubt be asking is what happens if following the consultation, NCC [Northumberland County Council] decide to ignore public opinion and enforce the 2 tier agenda on Ponteland anyway? That would be most regrettable, but under the protections afforded to us by Academy status, our first resolve is to return to the Multi Academy Trust conversation to pick up where we left off.

Potentially as a community of MAT schools, there would be a range of options available to us, but our firm hope is to play a full part in building on the superb education provision our flagship community of schools already have in place.

– Letter to parents from Caroline Pryer - Headteacher, Ponteland Community Middle School
  1. Tom Sheldrick
  2. Tyne Tees

Middle school fights closure with Academy approval

One of Northumberland's top-performing schools, which has threatened with closure under council reorganisation plans, has gained approval from the government to convert to an Academy.

The headteacher at Ponteland Community Middle School said the move meant they could celebrate "securing the long term future" of the school.

Ponteland Community Middle School has 600 pupils, aged between 9 and 13.

The school, which was judged 'outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors in 2008 and 2013, has been under threat after Northumberland County Council last month decided to hold a consultation on proposals to move to a system of primary and secondary schools in Ponteland, rather than the current three-tier model.

Load more updates