Sponsors move to reassure parents

Officials behind plans for the new Kings Priory School say there were inaccuracies in a report presented to North Tyneside Council and the authority has no credible grounds to potentially seek a judicial review.

David Bilton, chief executive of Woodard Academies Trust, the sponsors of the academy, said both the report and ‘facts’ presented at the meeting last week contained misleading and incorrect information.

He said: “We strongly believe there are no credible grounds for the local authority to consider a judicial review and therefore the pre-intent letter to the secretary of state just adds to the community anxiety as parents wait the outcome.

“We are proceeding as normal in order to open Kings Priory School on September 1.

“For the council to bring about this uncertainty at the end of the summer term would tend to suggest that they have little or no concern for the children or the parents who, despite our reassurances, will clearly be worried by the action.

“The children at Kings Priory School will account for less than five per cent of the children in education in the borough.

“The issue of the high percentage of surplus school places, which the council state in their report, is due to their own lack of strategic planning rather than the effect of a new academy in the area.

“It is simply ludicrous to assert that the opening of Kings Priory School will result in the closure of several schools.

“At Woodard Academies Trust we are dismayed at this narrow-minded stance and want to reassure parents that this academy will open in September as planned.”