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STARS - Northumberland parents launch STARS - Save Tynedale's Amazing Rural Schools - as petitions against NCC's proposed school closures gain over 8,000 signatures
A broad network of parents from across West Northumberland have launched a campaign to fight against the proposed closure of 16 rural schools. STARS - Save Tynedale's Amazing Rural Schools - was set up in the wake of Northumberland County Council's controversial schools consultation.
STARS is the next logical step in the process as parents across West Northumberland seek to coordinate and elevate their response to the consultation in an effort to safeguard their children's educational future.
Parents are unhappy with how the consultation has come about and with the three options it has tabled. Chiefly, STARS concerns are that:
Over 8,000 parents, teachers and concerned residents have now signed petitions set up by STARS members calling for the council to withdraw its ill-conceived consultation and re-evaluate its approach to education in West Northumberland.
The STARS campaign has already gained the support of the National Education Union, Hexham Constituency Labour Party and MP for Hexham Guy Opperman, who has stated he cannot support any of the three options tabled by Northumberland County Council in its consultation.
Parents widespread discontent with the consultation has also been covered widely by the local press and in trade publication Schools Week.
"We are determined to make sure our voices are heard. We are concerned that if these disruptive and ill thought-out proposals are allowed to go ahead, educational outcomes could suffer, children will be forced to travel many miles each day and communities will lose their heart and identity."
"We are particularly angry that having been the main architects of the situation we are now faced with, Northumberland County Council's solution is to quite literally send in the bulldozer. Our children deserve better."
"West Northumberland's rural schools are nurturing places that provide a safe and secure environment for our children to learn and develop. They are filled with exceptionally skilled and inspiring teachers and quite frankly, they deserve better funding and a certain future."
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