Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School Axeing Protest

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

School Axeing Protest

Article excerpt

Byline: By Peter Young

Protesters are making a new bid to stop a council closing a school and replacing it with a controversial privately sponsored city academy.

Members of Newcastle city council's controlling Liberal Democrat executive backed the proposals at a meeting in August.

But following objections the independent School Organisation Committee will now look again at the decision.

If they can't reach agreement an independent adjudicator will then be called in.

The executive agreed to press ahead with the pounds 22m academy in Scotswood claiming the Government has warned that failure to do so will place at risk pounds 200m to modernise city schools.

However, the scheme will lead to the closure of West Gate Community College and seven objections have been received.

They are from Labour leader Coun John O'Shea, his deputy Coun Nick Forbes, West End councillor Joanne Kingsland, two teachers' unions, New Deal for Communities, and an outer west resident who is also a school governor.

City academies are a flagship Government policy aimed at improving education standards.

Coun Nick Cott, Newcastle's Lib Dem executive member for children and young people, has accused the Government of "blackmail" and said the council has come up with the best option for city residents. …

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