Andy McDonald, MP for Middlesbrough, has this week been leading calls for an urgent meeting with the schools Minister Nick Gibb over a new Secondary School for Middlesbrough.
The need for more school places was made clear in recent weeks when over 100 local children were told they had not received a Secondary School place in Middlesbrough Borough.
Mr McDonald met with senior officers at Middlesbrough Council last week and visited Abingdon School in his constituency hearing first-hand from staff and parents how important this issue is and the impact it has had on their families.
“It was heart breaking last week to hear the personal stories of pupils who had lost motivation to attend Primary school after receiving the devastating news that there was no place for them at a local Secondary School. I met with the Chief Executive of the Council immediately and it is clear that the Council are doing all they can to resolve these issues, securing extra places at local schools and ruling out sending any pupils to out of the Borough for their education.”
Mr McDonald praised the dedication of the Council’s education department and highlighted the need for a new Secondary School in Middlesbrough to deliver more capacity in the system.
“The Council are not responsible for setting the number of places provided at local schools, that falls to the Academy Trusts, but they can request a new school and that is what I am working towards now. I have asked for an urgent meeting with Nick Gibb the Schools Minister to secure a swift confirmation from the Government that the Council will be permitted a new Free School to provide more school places and avoid a repeat of this situation occurring again. It is frustrating that these matters no longer rest with the Local Authority allowing them to deal with demand for school places on a local basis but if we have to lobby government for a speedy resolution and agreement to a new school as soon as possible then so be it.”
Mr McDonald will also be lobbying the Regional Schools Commissioner as well as the Minister and making the strongest possible case for a new school to be built as a matter of supreme urgency