June 20, 2008

Consultation Begins on School Mergers

CONSULTATION has begun on a proposal to merge two secondary schools in County Durham.

Durham County Council's proposal would see a new school being built to replace Spennymoor Comprehensive School and Tudhoe Grange School.

Both are improving schools and already have a strong history of working together to meet the needs of the local area. They also both have surplus places and their buildings are in need of rep air.

The proposal to amalgamate the schools would address the issue of surplus places and a new school would be built through the council's Building Schools for the Future investment programme.

It would have 1,300 places for pupils aged 11-16 and 200 places for post-16 students.

A site for the proposed school has not yet been identified.

People affected by the proposals, including pupils, parents, staff, trade unions, governors and the wider local communities, are being asked for their views as part of the council's consultation.

New Government regulations mean that any council wishing to establish a new school must allow other interested parties the opportunity to submit a bid to run the school.

This is aimed at creating different types of schools - such as foundation schools, trust schools, academies and faith schools - alongside those that are overseen by the local authority, so that families have a wider choice.

Meetings for all parents, including those with children at nursery, primary, secondary and special schools in the area, will be held at Spennymoor Comprehensive School, on Monday at 7pm and at Tudhoe Grange School (Durham Road site) on Tuesday, also at 7pm.

A public meeting for other members of the local community will be held at Spennymoor Town Hall on July 1 at 7pm.

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