Councillors to discuss impact of new school

A special council meeting is to be held to discuss the potential impact of the new King’s Priory School.

Cabinet members at North Tyneside Council agreed on Monday to allow all 60 councillors the chance to talk about the impact on pupils and other schools in the borough.

Concerns have also been raised after the authority found that King’s School was £5m in debt – information not disclosed during the consultation process.

A council spokesperson said: “It is a disappointing outcome for the majority of children and schools in North Tyneside.

“It is particularly concerning that the decision has been taken without the Department for Education first answering our questions around the impact of this proposal on the wider school network in North Tyneside, and how the repayment of the £5m debt of King’s School will be funded.

“A special council meeting will be convened to ensure all members can consider the consequences of this decision. Following this the authority will decide on its next steps.”

The council believes the academy will have a major impact on school provision, by introducing new places into a school system that is already equipped to meet demand, at a time when the population is reducing.

As a result, the council will need to review the current system, and may make decisions about reducing the number of substantial spare school places that would result.

Kings Priory School will have 1,400 students aged from four to 18, with 150 teachers and support staff. Staff will return to school on September 2, with the school opening to all students a week later.

It will be the first academy involving the merger of an independent school and a state school.