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Views so far:


Is the Current First/Middle and High School structure in Northumberland inferior to a Two Tier Primary/Secondary structure?

Almost all commentators now agree that the key difference in educational performance comes from leadership and quality teaching, not from the structure of the school

“We accept as a Department that both systems can be effective, and we are not aware of any clear research evidence to suggest that one is preferable to the other”.The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills (Mr. Stephen Twigg):

Surplus Places are given as a major reason for changing the system. What is the actual position?

In 2003in an OFSTED report the LEA (NOT the schools) was heavily criticised for its management.
In one part of the report it was felt not to be addressing the surplus places problem in sufficient depth.
In December 2003, it brought out the “Putting the Learner First” document using surplus places as one leg of its argument

There is a problem, it is local and particular, affecting mainly first schools, and only some areas.
This does not justify t he wholesale restructure.

The forecasts are for surplus places to expand rapidly, but the trends don’t suggest that. Over the last decade school pupil numbers have fluctuated slighly, and all previous planning forecast have underestimated the number of pupils. The steep downward trend which is being used to justify the LEA plans only exists in the future forecasets, not in the past trends.

Building Schools for the Future What does it involve?

BSF is A programme of rebuilding and renewal of secondary school provision. It is BSF funding that is being sought for the plan to change Education in Northumberand.

Bids criteria can be:
educational standards
condition of buildings
“step changes in provision”

BSF Bid and Investment must take all local needs, aspirations, and social and economic factors into consideration including close collaboration between schools and LEA’s
The programme will be delivered by “Local Education Partnerships” which will be 10% LEA, 10% PfS, 80% Private Sector Partner. There is a large element of Private Sector involvement in the BSF programmes.

Do Middle Schools Qualify for the funding?

“I can confirm that there are no plans on the part of the Department to phase out middle schools, as a matter of national policy, or to make our funding of particular programmes, including "Building schools for the Future", in any way dependent on that sort of reorganisation.”
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education and Skills (Mr. Stephen Twigg)

Who are NEAG

Northumberland Education Action Group

There are 15 Schools Partnership areas in Northumberland, and local action groups in all of them are very active in wanting proper consultation over the reorganisation.
The Action Groups are pooling their resources and skills to ensure that all the details of all possible options are examined before decisions are taken.
NEAG wants to debate the issues fully, with full information available
to suggest other options, and variations that may suit Northumberland better
To ensure the best for the future children of Northumberland.

NEAG has pulled together a very wide pool of people with a lot of skills which include

What have we achieved so far?

The debate about schools reorganisation is now out in the open
The option for Middle Schools is back on the agenda
Many more Councillors are now taking an active part in the debate
“Questions have been asked in the House”

What do we want you to do?

Be aware that this issue affects all of us, young, old, with and without children. Any change in the education system is going to affect everyone in Northumberland, and their futures.

Ask your elected representatives what their opinions are. Do they fully understand the implications, and are they taking a proper part in the debate

Help us with your time, your energy and your money, please.

We are all volunteers, and are fighting a campaign against the County Council which is funded by yours and our tax money! We need resources to put our point of view across. Please consider joining your local action group, and/or making a donation to our fighting fund.

All donations can be made by sending a cheque to

NEAG, C/o Lloyds Bank, Priestpopple, Hexham

or paid in directly at any branch of Lloyds bank using sort code 30-94-19 and A/c 01014824

Thank You