Support the Highest Standards in Education- Save Ponteland Community Middle School (PCMS)

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Ponteland Community Middle School (PCMS) has recently topped the Sunday Times national league table for large schools at KS2 finishing 25th overall when small schools are accounted for. As such it was also the best school in Northumberland at KS2 and the best Middle School nationally, this from a sample of over 20,000 schools. This is not a one off and was achieved despite recent difficulties demonstrating the difference a great school can make.
 
PCMS is twice rated OFSTED Outstanding, a teaching school where over 80% of SEND pupils achieve standard and 85% of staff are rated outstanding. The school is more than just about academic achievements, possessing a rare Platinum Sports Mark with teams in national and international finals and offering a rich range of extra curricula activities.
 
All this should be a source of significant pride and celebration, yet the school’s future is looking increasingly uncertain as there may be no pathway for its pupils once they leave the school. The school seems to have had mixed messages from the people with the power to determine the school’s future.  The Department of Education saved the school from the closure that was planned by NCC during the 2016 consultation, but subsequently, it has not permitted the school to extend its age range to 16 which would provide a pathway for its pupils beyond year 8 who cannot gain a place at Ponteland High school.  However, Lord Agnew who refused the application to extend the school’s age range says he wants to see the school flourish. Following the granting of the academy order NCC did nothing to alter its planned structure of schools in Ponteland and the distribution of pupil numbers, and now the current NCC councillors say that the school as an academy is no longer under their control, yet state that they fully support the school and want to see it continue.  Our local MP Guy Opperman has been vocal in his support and cannot imagine a situation in which the school does not continue to serve the Ponteland community, but this has not altered the position of the Department of Education.
 
As parents of children in various Ponteland schools, we believe that the school most urgently needs intervention by senior civil servants and politicians to find a viable solution for its future. This petition urges the following individuals to intervene IMMEDIATELY at a local and national level to ensure the viability of this incredible school: Lord Theodore Agnew (Under Secretary of State for Education), Janet Renou (North East Regional School Commissioner), Councillor Peter Jackson (Leader of Northumberland County Council), Councillor Wayne Daley (Head of Children’s Services at Northumberland County Council), Guy Opperman (MP for Hexham and Ponteland), and Damian Hinds (Minister for Education).


Northumberland education performance lags behind nationally, so our council cannot afford to lose a highly successful asset like PCMS.   It is unconscionable that our politicians and civil servants would let such an amazing school decline, but right now we as parents require a co-ordinated intervention to ensure the school flourishes.
 
By signing this petition you are indicating your support for the Parents’ Forum campaign that Ponteland Community Middle School be saved from decline and ultimate closure and that a viable solution be found for its future.  We will pass the list of signatories to our local councillors at Northumberland County Council, the Regional Schools’ Commission in Darlington and other members of the Department of Education in London as well as our own MP.
We will only use the personal information you provide (name, email, address) to pass to the parties described above to show support for the petition and to contact you via email to provide an update on any response to the petition and any agreed action to be taken.  Your personal information will not be shared or used in any other way than that described above. 
 
We, the undersigned call on officers named above in the Department of Education, Northumberland County Council and our local MP to work together to find a practical solution for the long-term survival of Ponteland Community Middle school and to secure an educational pathway for its pupils.



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