Views wanted as consultation starts

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A four-week consultation has begun into potential changes for the education system in the borough.

North Tyneside Council has carried out a review of education in the borough aiming to tackle the key issues and challenges facing schools.

Now parents, teachers, governing bodies, employers, residents and other interested parties are being invited to share their views.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “We have some great schools and the people delivering education in the borough are doing an excellent job but we know that we need to do some things differently to make sure our schools system remains amongst the best in the country.

“Supporting the education of young people and adults in the borough is one of the most important responsibilities the council has, and there are challenges we need to tackle if we want our school system to be ready for the next decade.”

A consultation document is being delivered to every household in the borough over the next two weeks setting out three proposed approaches for the future which do not include plans to close schools or alter the three-tier system in the Whitley Bay and Monkseaton areas.

Coun Ian Grayson, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, added: “We now have a detailed picture of the challenges our education system faces as well as clear knowledge about where our opportunities lie.

“We need to secure the future success of our education system if we are to secure the future success of our young people.

“I would urge anyone with any interest or stake in education in North Tyneside, to take part in this consultation and to share their views.”

The consultation document is also available online at www.northtyneside.gov.uk/schoolsreview

Anyone wishing to take part in the consultation has until Friday, October 17, to submit their feedback.

Once the consultation closes, the comments will be taken into consideration by Cabinet at its meeting on Monday, November 10. Final decisions will not be made until early 2015.

The consultation follows an in-depth review which began in October 2013, 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.

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.