QEHS – New School Details Announced

QEHS – New School Details Announced

Details of the design and the contract award for the building of a new schools complex in Hexham have been announced.  Our Conservative administration are making a significant £30m+ investment in building new schools for Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School on the QEHS site. The listed Hydro building will become the frontage of the school with the new build tot he rear. Galliford Try will be the contractor.

Local people fought hard for the retention of the three tier system that serves our children so well in the west of the county and was essential that much needed investment was made into our High School – the pinnacle of our successful system. I’m proud to be part of the Northumberland County Council Cabinet that made this decision.

Read more in the Hexham Courant here.

 

Daily Mile

Daily Mile

The Daily Mile is a national campaign aimed at improving the physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of school children.  It is fun, free and easy to do and we’re promoting it with schools in Northumberland.

The benefits are enormous. Exercise is habit forming and so children who do so regularly when they are young will stay fitter and healthier in later life. Children concentrate better after exercise, learn more and get better grades.

It’s great to see my NCC cabinet colleagues Wayne Daley and Veronica Jones getting behind this and I hope one day every school in our county will do the daily Mile.

 

 



STEM Event in Prudhoe

STEM Event in Prudhoe

I was delighted to open an event at the FUSE Centre in Prudhoe promoting STEM subjects to school pupils aged 9 to 14. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are fascinating and important subjects and children studying these subjects will be employable and will contribute to our future prosperity.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) are high on the agenda for all educational establishments and workplaces.

As a council we wish to promote them by engaging with local schools, children and businesses to increase the opportunities available in our county and showcase the exciting and varied career opportunities that the STEM subjects can open up for our young people.

Read the Northumberland Gazette Story Here.

Rural Broadband Trials for Schools

Rural Broadband Trials for Schools

Seven schools in Northumberland are among 31 nationally in a pilot scheme, as part of the Government’s £200million roll-out of full-fibre broadband to rural locations.

On Sunday (May 19), the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced that ‘the starting gun has been fired on a programme to roll out gigabit-capable full-fibre broadband to the most rural and remote locations in the UK’. One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits, so represents an extremely fast connection.

My portfolio includes Broadband and we’ve been working really hard to get the remaining houses in Northumberland connected to broadband. It’s also important that we don’t get left behind with next generation Hyper Fast fibre connections and I’m delighted Northumberland is one of only three counties chosen for this pilot. I met with Broadband Minister Margot James MP recently and she is committed to making sure areas like ours benefit from these innovations.

Post 16 Transport Charges

Post 16 Transport Charges

Nick Oliver puts the case for scrapping charges for 6th form pupils to get to school.

In 2014 the Labour / Independent Administration at Northumberland County Hall scrapped free Post 16 Transport to Schools and Colleges. This was a deeply unpopular decision in rural areas right across the County and particularly effects many children in Corbridge and the Tyne Valley.

Most 6th form pupils in Corbridge will go to Queen Elizabeth High School (QEHS) in Hexham and some will go into Newcastle College – we all now have to pay £600 per year if we want our children to use the school bus to get to school or college. The school bus my youngest child gets on between Corbridge and Hexham is nearly empty but if my son in the 6th form were to use it we would have to commit to £600 per year. The nature of 6th form education is that he is not always in first thing and cannot always leave at 3.30pm so it just doesn’t work. You are not allowed to pay as you go and I understand the £600 charge from the County Council is more than they pay the bus company!

I have been a strong advocate of scrapping these charges within the Conservative Group in Northumberland and I’m delighted that this has been adopted as policy.

“Charging £600 for Post 16 School Transport discriminates against children in rural areas.

A Conservative controlled council will phase out these charges.”