Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School Fight Won

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School Fight Won

Article excerpt

Education bosses have backed down on plans to close two under threat schools.

Campaigners were celebrating today after Northumberland County Council formally dropped proposals to axe Linton Village First school and Coulson Park First school in Ashington.

But there was also despair as the axe fell on Alexandra Middle School in Ashington.

Over 50 parents, governors and teachers of the three schools attended the county council meeting yesterday.

They heard the decision which will see changes being introduced at the two reprieved schools to ensure a reduction in surplus spaces.

At Coulson Park mobile classrooms will be removed while Linton could be federated with Ellington First School, which could mean sharing staff and resources.

Wendy Birkett, a parent of Coulson Park School said: "I'm so relieved that it has all been finalised. The meeting was so tense.

"It has been quite a long process to go through but we stuck together as a team and agreed that we were going to fight together.

"We feel very sorry for parents and staff at Alexandra Middle because it must be a shock for them to hear the school will definitely close."

Catherine Irwin headteacher at Linton First School, who was in tears after hearing that her school will be saved from closure, said: "I feel numb but I'm not sure what this means for the school."

Pat Calldicott, who uses classrooms at Linton school for her craft class said: "This school is at the heart of the community and we are so happy they haven't closed it."

Kerry White, a classroom assistant at Alexandra Middle School said: "I am so upset, not because I will lose my job but because the children will lose their school."

Parent Wendy Nelson said: "I have had two children go through Alexandra Middle School and I was a pupil at the school myself.

"We had a good idea what was going to happen because it is down here in black and white on the agenda - they wanted to close us from the start."

Paul Saddler, whose wife is a teacher at Alexandra Middle School said: "The children should now be monitored to see what kind of effect this has on them. …

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