I TOOK the time to read Geoff Ogle’s letter (News Guardian, October 11) on the reasoning behind the governing body of Priory School’s decision to merge with Kings to form a new academy in Tynemouth.
It’s clear he feels the school wasn’t receiving a fair deal from North Tyneside Council.
Being outside the funding process, it’s hard for me to make a judgement about this, but he makes a compelling case.
Mr Ogle’s letter was well reasoned if more than a little defensive.
What is less clear is why Priory has chosen to merge an undoubtedly excellent school with one which has commercially failed.
As a private sector institution competing for students, the fall off in student numbers represents failure for King’s.
I am fed up with private sector institutions commercially failing and then coming cap in hand to the public purse to be bailed out.
As a registered charity, King’s and other private schools already benefit from significant tax advantages.
Geographically, we are now left with over-capacity in the state funded sector at the coast as some of the parents of Kings’ pupils try to get their children into fee-paying schools in Newcastle.
I also note that the funding agreed with the Department for Education for this new school will allow smaller class sizes than is the case in other state-funded schools. Why?
Whilst this will be of enormous benefit to the children of the new school, it’s clear that this funding will have to come from somewhere. Where?
Congratulations to the governing body of Priory for their ‘rational and logical decision’ in looking after the ‘best interests’ of their pupils.
It’s a shame, however, that the current free-for-all in the education sector enables them to do that at the expense of pupils of other schools.