Readers ask ‘why just for boys?’ over plans for historic building

St Bedes Chambers, Albert Road Jarrow
St Bedes Chambers, Albert Road Jarrow

Plans to turn a Grade II listed building into an educational centre for boys with special needs has been met with a mixed response from readers.

St Bede’s Chambers in Albert Road, Jarrow, could be turned into a place of learning for boys aged 11 to 16 who have social, emotional and mental health needs, if planning chiefs give it the green light.

The site was previously used as a call centre and has in the past also served as a Co-op administration centre and a Catholic parish centre.

The proposed layout changes will allow for the delivery of vocational courses in carpentry, brickwork and decorating, plumbing and catering.

It will also include classrooms for mainstream subjects and specialist spaces for media and music.

But while some people say it is a great idea, some are questioning why it is only for boys.

Our readers took to social media to give their views on the proposed plans.

Michelle Whale posted: “What a excellent idea. But I think it should be for both sexes’ in need of help.”

Crystal Burns Purdy asked: “What about girls with special needs?”

Clair Tink Brennan wrote: “Fab idea! It can only be positive if it means students with SEN’s have more options available to them.”

It was a sentiment which was backed by Donna Ellison who posted: “I think it’s a great idea, the sooner the better.”

Michaela King Ne Halliday said she thought it “would be nice if the held evening classes for adults.”

Comments can be made on the plans until May 15, by searching for ST/0196/17/FUL at