SCHOOLS: System is under threat

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Having read the Northumberland Conservatives’ Northumberland News ‘Hexham Special’, where a statement has been issued that its administration’s plan is for a two-tier system of education across the whole of Northumberland, I thought I should steer my message to the public through your newspaper.

The document in question illustrates support by Northumberland Conservatives and is complete with a photo of Guy Opperman MP.

There is to be no consultation as to whether three or two-tier education is the choice of people living in the west of the county, it’s simply what type of two-tier system do you want, and do Northumberland Conservatives close 13 schools or 15?

I am now deeply concerned for the future of Whytrig and Seaton Sluice middle schools, especially as Labour plans to replace Astley and Holywell schools have been scuppered by the Conservatives.

I’m aware that Ronnie Campbell MP does not support the break-up of our three-tier education system in Seaton Valley without consultation with schools or parents.

And parents need the answer to the conundrum for Northumberland Conservatives, is the proposed money-saving exercise of closing schools and losing jobs simply to find the cash to support Northumberland Conservatives’ very expensive Post-16 transport scheme?

I find it very worrying that four-year-old children from rural areas will be put onto public transport to travel, in some cases, many hours each day to and from their new primary schools, and they will remember those experiences their whole life, while the older children of mostly well-off rural people will be supported to get to their college or sixth form of choice.

The more deprived areas across south-east Northumberland and the rural coalfield will simply pay the price to deliver the Tory manifesto in full.

Coun Bernard Pidcock

Hollywell Ward