No schools will close under plans

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Three-tier education will remain in place at the coast under plans aimed at securing the long-term success of education in the borough.

Cabinet members at North Tyneside Council agreed at their meeting on Tuesday to remodel the education system.

Schools and residents were given a chance to have their say on three options drawn up by the authority.

The most popular, preferred option proposes a programme of planned changes which seek to reduce surplus places; plan for demand; improve Key Stage 5 (Post 16) performance; build financial stability; build new schools and involve employers more.

It does not include any proposals to close schools or change the three-tier education system in the Monkseaton and Whitley Bay areas.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We are delighted that so many residents, staff, pupils, employers and others have taken the time to engage in this consultation and share their views on the future of education in North Tyneside.

“We are now in an excellent position to move forward with our efforts to shape a successful future for our schools and deliver a high quality education offer for our young people.”

Coun Ian Grayson, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, added: “The purpose of the review and consultation was to make sure the borough’s education system was in the right shape to tackle the challenges and opportunities it faces over the coming ten years.

“Clearly there is now a strong desire between schools and the local authority to work collaboratively to ensure that our education system provides young people with the learning opportunities that will help to equip them with life and work in the 21st Century.”

A four-week formal consultation on the preferred option will start on November 24 before Cabinet make a final decision on how to proceed.

The next steps have been agreed following an in-depth review of North Tyneside’s education system, and a subsequent four-week consultation on three options for change.

The review also mapped other challenging factors such as surplus places, changing birth rates, projected housing development, youth unemployment and standards at post-16.

Alongside this, the work considered opportunities the education system should prepare for including funding secured for new school buildings at John Spence High School, Marden High School, Longbenton Community College, Backworth Park Primary School and Whitehouse Primary School.