The Government minister who spearheaded the creation of academies paid a visit to the newly-merged Kings Priory School.
Lord Adonis, who oversaw the opening of scores of new academies during his time as Minister of State for Education under Tony Blair’s Labour Government, was guest of honour at a special event held yesterday at the Tynemouth-based academy.
He was given a tour of both the Percy Park and Huntingdon Place sites as well as being treated to musical performances from both junior and senior pupils.
Kings Priory is a newly formed academy which saw state-run Priory Primary and private Kings School merge together for the new term last month.
The controversial move of an independent school and state-funded primary joining was met with opposition from North Tyneside Council who raised concerns about how it would impact on other local schools.
It threatened to commence judicial review proceedings over the summer but the decision was made not to continue down that path enabling Kings Priory, which is sponsored by Woodard Academies Trust, to continue to open as planned.
The school has been open for more than a month now and Lord Adonis was invited to officially open Kings Priory by unveiling a special plaque.
He said: “It’s excellent that Kings Priory has become an academy bringing the best of private education to into the state system with no fee. It’s fantastic for Tynemouth and it’s also brilliant for the North East of England. It will offer an outstandingly good school, it will break down social barriers and what the North East needs above all is first-rate education and this new academy will help provide it.”
Lord Adonis added: “I really hope that in the 21st Century politicians don’t start fighting each other on the issue of whether or not we should have good schools. I’m in favour of good schools whether they be academies or whether they be community schools.
“What we need to see is more good schools in every community.”