Multi-million pound investments for our schools
I am delighted to announce massive investment in a new school for Berwick and a multi million pound injection of cash into James Calvert Spence College in Amble - something Labour neglected but Conservatives have put into action.
As part of our ambitious budget proposals we have allocated at least £15m for the new school for our northern town - to replace the ageing Berwick Academy buildings. We have also agreed to a multi-million pound investment in James Calvert Spence College in Amble, with both proposals now subject to the development of detailed business cases. This work will involve the schools working alongside the council and building professionals to develop the best proposals for each scheme.
The current Berwick Academy has also been the subject of concern due to the continuing dilapidation of the site as well as the layout of the buildings, which are scattered across a large area. It also comes following direct intervention by me to the Regional Schools Commissioner about my concerns over the pace of educational attainment in the school.
Amble has seen over 2,000 new houses approved in recent years and it needs a school fit for the 21st century. The plans are part of our largest ever programme of investment - with £589m proposed over the next three years to boost the county’s economy, improve education prospects for all and create new infrastructure for the future.
I am delighted that we have been able to announce these plans for a new school in Berwick and a major long overdue investment into Amble’s only high school.
These ambitious plans are just part of our wider commitment to educational excellence in Northumberland - and come on the back of recent announcements about new schools in Seaton Delaval and in Hexham.
Northumberland is the Home of Ambition from our Conservative Council and the Home of Education Ambition for our children.
Special Education needs investment
We have opened another Special Education Needs school in addition to the extra places we have created at the Priory School in Hexham. I visited our new centre in Ashington to meet the 50 students and parents in a former derelict school which is now a state of the art centre delivering high quality support for young people. The Ashdale Centre refurbishment cost £1.9 million and forms part of a massive focus I have on Special Education Needs. Due to the neglect of the former Labour and Lib Dem councils, we are facing massive pressures finding places for children in additional need schools. Thanks to Northumberland Conservatives we are turning this neglect into a plan to invest.
Daley's DAILY MILE
Improving physical activity in school children was the key aim of a conference that I attended with over 60 teachers from primary schools across Northumberland. The conference, organised by Northumberland Sport, included guest speakers and workshops aimed at looking at new ways of introducing physical activity into the school day. Research has proven that being active each day has a positive impact on academic performance and attendance, pupil behavior, physical development, well-being and self-esteem. It also included our pledge to introduce the nationally accredited DAILY MILE into the school curriculum - physical activity every day at school.
What we are looking at encouraging is a flexible, whole school approach so the responsibility for physical activity doesn’t just lie with the PE department, or limit activity to the sports hall or playing field. We want to encourage children, where and when possible, to walk to school and we want to encourage all teachers to incorporate some form of physical activity into their lessons and their daily classroom routine.
The North of Tyne Combined Authority as well is soon to agree investment into my portfolio of Education Improvement. I have been working with senior national figures to bring together a team of talented people to help me deliver on this. This is being led by Northumberland Conservatives and as North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Education I will deliver on this ambition. Please watch this short clip to find out more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOIdjqyn6g0