Two schools in Ashington set for a shake-up

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An Ashington school is set to close under a proposed change of model by a governing body.

If the plans, currently at the consultation stage, get the green light, St Aidan’s RC First School will become a primary school from September 1, 2017.

As a result, St Benedict’s RC Middle School would close on the previous day.

Members of Northumberland County Council’s cabinet were made aware of the situation at a meeting this week.

If the federated governing body of St Benedict’s Middle School and St Aidan’s First School approve the publication of a statutory proposal, it will be up to cabinet members to make the final decision.

The consultation opened on May 3 and closes on June 21.

The change would involve the first school relocating to the current site of the middle school. The cost of the works would be met by the Roman Catholic diocese and the governing body.

The briefing note to the cabinet meeting includes the following: ‘The governing body’s rationale for consulting on the proposal is that it believes an organisational restructure of the schools could achieve better outcomes for pupils.

‘The governing body has financial and curricular challenges in relation to St Benedict’s Middle School, as pupil numbers have been falling for a number of years and are expected to continue to do so.’