A proposal by the Diocese of Durham and  Sunderland City Council to create a new Voluntary Aided Church of England Primary School has today February 1 been given the go-ahead by Sunderland Council’s School Organisation Committee.

The new school, Northern Saints Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School will open on 1st September 2013, and will bring together Hylton Red House Primary School and Bishop Harland Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School which will cease to be separate schools on 31st August.

The existing schools have been operating as a soft federation since January 20111 under the leadership of an Executive Headteacher, Steve Williamson. Commenting on today’s news, Mr Williamson said: “Our children and families deserve the very best and in the last two years we have laid the foundations for delivering an increasingly high quality of education.  Results and standards have increased dramatically in both schools placing them in the top 5% nationally for the progress pupils make from starting school.  By sharing our skills, knowledge and resources we have made two struggling schools extremely successful.  I am thrilled to have been appointed as the Headteacher Designate for the new school and will ensure that at Northern Saints our children continue to flourish”.

Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services, Councillor Pat Smith  said: “Working together we have identified a solution which will sustain the high levels of education provision in this part of the city.

“We listened to what parents, teachers and local residents wanted and by combining the two current schools in the existing Hylton Red House Primary School buildings we have been able to make best use of resources and facilities within the community, and will safeguard the future learning opportunities for children and families previously provided separately by the two schools. “

Jeremy Fitt, Diocesan Director of Education said: “The new school will ensure that the significant improvement in the provision of education in this part of Sunderland continues.

“The new school represents a unique opportunity for the communities of Hylton Red House and Bishop Harland to come together and work in partnership with parents, other partners & stakeholders, and the wider community, to ensure that this and future generations of children in this area of Sunderland receive an outstanding education.”

The new school will serve the area currently covered by Hylton Red House Primary School and Bishop Harland CE Primary School and all children at present attending these schools will be admitted to the new school this September.

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