Trust launches consultation over new Blyth school

A consultation has started on plans for a new special school in Blyth.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 8:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd June 2021, 4:16 pm
Left to right - Margaret Dover, Education Consultant; Jennifer McCreery, Trust Operations Manager, Prosper Learning Trust; Kevin Sutton, Estates Management Officer - Prosper Learning Trust; Mark Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Prosper Learning Trust; Gail Khan, Education Consultant; David Shepherd, Tree Officer, Northumberland County Council; and John Froud, Corporate Health and Safety Lead, Northumberland County Council; at the proposed site.

Prosper Learning Trust, a multi academy trust, is looking to open Gilbert Ward Academy which will provide education for children aged 11 to 16 with social, emotional and mental health, and autism.

The school received approval from the Department for Education to move forward last July and will primarily meet the needs of children in Northumberland but also serve North neighbouring areas.

It is due to open in September 2022 with up to 40 pupils in school during the first year growing to 80 pupils by September 2023.

The former Princess Louise County First School at Blyth. Picture from Google

The proposed site at the former Princess Louise First School will have a new purpose-built building in the 2022/2023 academic year.

Mark Jones, Chief Executive Officer, Prosper Learning Trust, said: “This is an exciting time. We are proud to be delivering a school which will serve Northumberland and neighbouring areas.

"Working together with the local authority, Department for Education and partners we will create a school which is recognised as a centre of excellence regionally and nationally providing a personalised curriculum to meet the unique qualities and needs of each pupil.”

Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director for Adult and Children's services, said: "We are committed to growing capacity to meet the needs of our young people with social, emotional, mental health and autism and by working in partnership with Prosper Learning Trust we are now at a stage where we can move this forward."

The consultation – due to end on July 16 – is focusing on key areas including the proposed site, the admissions process, key policies and education offer.

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