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DfE: Durham Free School 'not delivering high standard of education'

The Department for Education has released a statement regarding the announcement that Durham Free School will close at Easter.

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

After carefully considering all of the issues and representations I have received, I have taken the decision to proceed with the closure of Durham Free School. The Department for Education operates on the basis that the interests of children must come first and it is clear that the school is not delivering the high standard of education that parents and I expect. It is also clear that there is no imminent prospect of improvement and I am not prepared to let any child remain in a failing school. While I know this decision will mean some upheaval for those pupils still in attendance, I am confident that it is the right thing to do. We are already working with the local authority to ensure every child is found a suitable place at another local school.

– Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary

400 Department for Education jobs to stay in Darlington

A new 'public sector hub' could be established in Darlington thanks to hundreds of Department for Education jobs relocating to the town centre.

Darlington Borough Council has made an agreement with the DfE to create a purpose built office block adjoining the Town Hall to accommodate staff moving from old offices at nearby Mowden Hall.

A new leisure complex with a cinema, shops and bars, is also included in the project.


Keep Education jobs in Darlington

More than four hundred Department of Education civil servants currently work at Mowden Hall in Darlington.

In November,the department said that the poor state of repair of Mowden Hall meant a new site was needed.

In the same letter the department raised the possibility that the jobs could be relocated to Newcastle if nothing suitable was found in Darlington.

The town's MP Jenny Chapman has told ministers that this is the most vital issue facing Darlington, with the four hundred jobs generating an estimated £21 million to the local economy.

In reply the Education Minister Liz Truss said that no final decision had been taken and that she was aware of the importance of the jobs to Darlington.