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Opponents bid to halt academy plan

ACADEMY BID ... St Josephs RC Comprehensive School in Mill Lane, Hebburn.

ACADEMY BID ... St Josephs RC Comprehensive School in Mill Lane, Hebburn.

UNION officials will tonight try to block the creation of a second academy school in South Tyneside.

They will press a governors’ meeting at St Joseph’s RC Comprehensive School in Mill Lane, Hebburn, to reject plans to transform it into a multi-academy educational institution.

Members of South Tyneside Public Service Alliance, including teaching union members and others, will lobby governors, before addressing the meeting.

If governors agree, St Joseph’s would follow Whitburn Academy in being granted academy status.

But Gemma Taylor, area organiser of Unison and co-ordinator of South Tyneside Public Service Alliance, said: “We hope to prevent this school being taken out of the control of the local education authority.

“St Joseph’s is a good, high-achieving school and we don’t see why it needs academy status.”

Coun John McCabe, a foundation governor at the school, said he planned to press fellow governors to launch a new consultation exercise, before any decision on academy status.

He said: “Many parents tell me that they didn’t know all the ramifications of this.”

The final decision will lie with the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle.

 

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