School will be a big loss

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It is with great sadness I have read that Sunderland High School is due to close this summer – fine school that has shown consistently good results for children of Sunderland for many years.

It formed the launchpad for many girls’ careers while a girls only school. Our very own Kate Adie was one as was Eileen O’Shaugnessy , the first wife of George Orwell and credited with writing the poem that Orwell later developed into the novel 1984.

One puzzle is why it needed 75 members of staff for only 280 pupils and I wonder how it has been managed in recent years. The notice given to parents also coming across as quite unprofessional.

Has it suffered from a loss of funding from LEA or Government sources as although parents will have paid fees they will also have paid due taxes for an education place they have not taken on behalf of their children ? Will parents take up a place in local comprehensives or decide to send their kids to Newcastle, like so many others ?

Sunderland will suffer over time for losing this fine school as I recall we lost significant inward investment from a company called Intel, which produced semiconductors in the 1980s because the management team chose Bristol over Sunderland because of the paucity of good schools for their children’s education.

It still employs more than 1,000 highly skilled jobs with others in the supply chain, as we have seen with Nissan. What chance of us attracting such companies today ?

Could we not see a white knight such as Sir Peter Vardy, who showed great enthusiasm for a faith school in Sunderland until he had the door slammed in his face a few years ago ?

This could be his opportunity to give something back to his local area that complements his passion for education. Now,that would be a result for the city.

Kevin Leary