Consultation on Education in the West of Northumberland
At Beaufront, we are proud of the fact that educational and pastoral standards within the Hexham Partnership of schools are excellent, as evidenced by the outcomes achieved by students at the end of their educational journey. The foundation of these excellent results is provided by our first schools. Our priority is to maintain (and, ideally, exceed) the excellence of our children’s educational journey and to extend that experience elsewhere.
We understand that any proposals for change can be disturbing. The two consultations that are presently taking place offer an opportunity for our schools communities to help shape the future of education in our area. We urge our school community to contribute to this process and seize the opportunities offered. We will provide you with information and assistance to enable you to do so.
Meanwhile, don’t forget that it is very much “business as usual” at Beaufront! We continue to move forward with exciting plans for the future, which include:
- Nursery and out of hours care provision from September 2018. Our business plan and community powers application have been submitted;
- Exploration of grant funding for a number of science projects, which will enhance our curriculum opportunities;
- Further community projects. Our local community is important to us: we feel strongly that our children benefit greatly from their interaction with the local community;
- Exciting news about catering provision at Beaufront, which will enable us to explore initiatives that develop our children’s knowledge and understanding of food. With our lovely vegetable garden, we hope to develop a practical experience of “field to fork”!
Two consultations are currently taking place in the region:
- Northumberland County Council (NCC) is looking at education provision across the whole of west Northumberland. NCC has put forward three potential models but is encouraging alternative suggestions. The consultation document and response form are on NCC’s website. All three models include the closure of schools in the area. It is important to note that no decisions have been taken at this stage and you do not have to say ‘yes’ to any of the models. Active participation in the process is key and the Beaufront school community is fully engaged with the consultation. This includes seeking more information from NCC. Deadline for responses is 9th April.
- Hadrian Learning Trust (HLT), the multi-academy trust (MAT) that runs Hexham Middle School (HMS) and Queen Elizabeth High School (QEHS), is consulting on whether to amalgamate HMS and QEHS to create an 11-18 school, potentially incorporating pupils from Haydon Bridge High School. Consultation documents and the response form are on the QEHS website. HLT is encouraging responses from parents, staff and the wider community. We would encourage as many people as possible to respond, including those with children starting first school this September. Deadline for responses is 29th March.
- There is a public meeting about the NCC consultation at Hexham Mart on Saturday 17th March from 10.00am–3.00pm where NCC officers will be available to respond to questions. Beaufront and most other local schools will have “stalls” at this meeting. This is an important event and we are keen that as many people as possible attend.
- We are holding our own meetings in school on a regular basis to keep all our families fully informed and new/prospective parents are welcome to attend. The next meetings are on Wednesday 14th March at 2.30pm and 6.00pm.
- Beaufront Parish Council are holding an extra-ordinary meeting in school on Wednesday 14th March at 7.00pm.
- Parents with children at QEHS are invited to a drop-in session on Wednesday 14th March 6.00pm–7.30pm.
- Parents with children at HMS are invited to a drop-in session on Thursday 15th March 4.30pm–6.30pm.
- QEHS is holding a public drop-in on Monday 19th March 6.00pm–7.30pm (school hall at QEHS).
- On Tuesday 27th March representatives of NCC will be attending School to meet with Staff at 3.30pm and Governors at 5.00pm. Our Governor’s meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend as an observer, and we do not see that this meeting should be any different. If you would like to attend, please feel free to do so. It would be helpful if you could let us know, though, so as to ensure we have sufficient chairs.
What you can do to influence the decisions
- Attend the NCC public meeting on Saturday 17th March at Hexham Mart.
- Attend the QEHS public drop-in on Monday 19th March.
- Respond to both the NCC and HLT consultations (see above for links and deadlines).
- Complete our very short survey to express your views about the consultation.
- Go to Corbridge Middle School’s website and respond to three simple questions they are asking.
- Go to meet and/or write to councillors (names and email addresses below) and ask questions. Our local councillor for School is Nick Oliver.
- Copy your response to the consultations to your own local councillor, our School’s local councillor, the Regional Schools Commissioner (who is particularly interested in the HLT consultation) and our MP (Guy Opperman).
- Trevor Cessford, NCC Councillor – Trevor.Cessford@northumberland.gov.uk
- Anne Dale, NCC Councillor – Anne.Dale@northumberland.gov.uk
- Wayne Daley, NCC Councillor – Wayne.Daley@northumberland.gov.uk
- Rupert McClure Gibson, NCC Councillor – Rupert.Gibson@northumberland.gov.uk
- Cath Homer, NCC Councillor – Cath.Homer@northumberland.gov.uk
- Colin William Horncastle, NCC Councillor – Colin.Horncastle@northumberland.gov.uk
- Andy Johnson, Project Director, NCC – email@example.com
- Derek Kennedy, NCC Councillor – Derek.Kennedy@northumberland.gov.uk
- Nick Oliver, NCC Councillor – Nick.Oliver@northumberland.gov.uk
- Guy Opperman, Local MP – firstname.lastname@example.org (constituency); email@example.com (parliamentary); @guyopperman (Twitter)
- Janet Renou, Regional Schools Commissioner for North of England – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Paul Rickeard, Director of Education, The Dioceses of Durham & Newcastle Joint Education Team – email@example.com