The threat of any school closing is inevitably one that raises concerns among staff, governors, parents and pupils, which is the situation surrounding Guide Post Middle School.
Last year the school was placed in ‘special measures’ following an ‘inadequate’ Ofsted report, and since then one option being looked at by Northumberland County Council is to close the school as part of a review of the Bedlington partnership schools.
If that were to happen schooling would be reorganised from a three-tier to a two-tier system with three local primary schools in the Guide Post and Stakeford areas retaining pupils until the age of 11 rather than nine before moving on to continue their education.
My concern as the area’s MP is to hear all sides of the debate; to listen to the concerns of parents; and to try to help minimise any impact of teachers and support staff from the schools involved.
As a result I am looking forward to meeting representatives including teachers and governors this coming week so I can fully appraise myself of their views about what would be a quite radical change in the way young people from the area are educated.
I fully understand the concerns of staff, governors, parents and indeed the pupils themselves, and what we must all do is work together to achieve the best possible outcome so that young people from the Guide Post and Stakeford areas continue to receive the best possible start.