Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rural Schools in Fight over Closure Threat; Head Launches Campaign in Community

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rural Schools in Fight over Closure Threat; Head Launches Campaign in Community

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Tully ? 07554 437755 ? paul.tully@ncjmedia.co.uk

ARURAL school head is calling on the community to back its battle for survival ... all the way to Westminster. Ruth Bull, headteacher of Glendale Middle School in Wooler, Northumberland, is calling a public meeting next week to rally support.

The successful school faces closure in the next five years after being hit by Government budget cuts.

Cuts totalling more than PS120,000 are looming at the 134-pupil school under the roll-call-related Government funding scheme.

Four of the popular school's 27 staff - including two teachers - could lose their jobs by September, Mrs Bull fears.

The public meeting in the school hall on January 30 (7pm) is aimed at garnering enough support to put pressure on Education Secretary Michael Gove.

Mrs Bull, who has headed the school since 2005, said: "I am looking for support from the community to put that pressure on. If the position doesn't change, this school will close in five years.

"The total figure of over PS120,000 is 16% of the budget and that is a huge amount.

I am having to lose excellent staff who have worked wonders for us."

Mrs Bull added: "We need to make the Government understand rural schools can't be treated in the same way as urban schools.

"This school needs another 28 pupils to make up the budget loss but where do we find them in a catchment area like ours? I am writing personally to Mr Gove to put forward our case but am also looking for moral support from the public.

"I am not asking for financial support, and I hope I don't have to in the future. But we need to put the pressure on the Government now."

Last night, 1,000 campaign leaflets were being circulated in the Wooler area.

Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith has given Glendale Middle his backing and says: "It's important that we back our rural schools, because we need them. …

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