1. Tom Sheldrick

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