I HAVE been amazed by some of the ill-informed and resentful comments in the press regarding the forming of the King’s Priory Academy, but the letter entitled ‘Let’s rejoice about Tynemouth schools’ merger’ (News Guardian, September 13) has to take the prize.
Firstly, not all of the existing parents will be better off since already some are looking at other fee-paying schools to send their children.
Clearly that is their choice, but I suspect a bit of a knee jerk reaction, possibly a year to consider their position will see some changes in their stance.
Others are heaving a sigh of relief because they were having to seriously consider taking their child(ren) out of school due to changes in their personal finances.
Secondly, staying with fees, a number of King’s parents seem angry because although they can afford the fees and wouldn’t have chosen this route, but many others couldn’t.
The evidence is plain to see; not only at King’s but also with other fee-paying schools the number of pupils is in free fall.
I understand that RGS opened up one night specifically to show interested King’s School parents around, could they also be suffering in this recessionary period?
Thirdly, the point seems to have escaped the correspondent that all children are entitled to a state school education, so rather than espouse the view of what this change will cost, why cannot he see that for many years millions of pounds has been saved by the taxpayer by parents choosing to pay for their children’s education themselves?
So let’s cut out the clearly cheap and sarcastic comments.
Fourthly, surely the state is getting a great deal here.
Whilst I don’t know the amounts involved, I do see that suddenly with King’s the state gets a fantastically run school with fabulous facilities.
This school will be the envy of many other schools across the country, let alone here in North Tyneside, and here it is coming into the state sector.
Probably at a far lower cost to the taxpayer than had it to be funded from scratch.
I also understand that a little money is being set aside to update the Priory site, after years of neglect by North Tyneside Council, this is only now doing what should have happened years ago.
Finally, if the teaching staff work together prior to the academy going live to ensure a smooth and as pain free a merger as possible then the children (let’s not forget this is about the children first and foremost) will receive an even better education than was provided at either school when run separately.
We will then be able to see the results of the best practices from each of these outstanding schools in giving a wonderfully rich and academic education to the children for generations to come.
Well done to the secretary of state for education and to the teachers involved as well as the governors of both Priory Primary School and The King’s School to have the vision and daring to take this innovative step for benefit the children of both schools.
I take my hat off to them all.
I have a child attending one of the schools involved and due to the narrow-minded views of some I don’t want this letter to have an impact on my child, so although my name and address has been supplied, I have asked the editor to withhold it.
NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED