Northumberland Labour has given a cautious welcome for a new special free school, The Gilbert Ward Academy, to open in Blyth in 2022.
Northumberland Labour leader Scott Dickinson said: “Labour has always supported the need for specialist schools to cater for children with emotional, mental health and those diagnosed with autism. When we were in power we reviewed the need for this type of facility and we’re pleased that progress, while slower than we would have liked, is happening.
“While having reservations about the free school system, we acknowledge that this is the reality, and we are willing and prepared to work with and support The Prosper Learning Trust, which will run the academy because ultimately children with special needs and their families will benefit.”
Shadow cabinet for children and young people Julie Foster added: “It’s good to see that one of the pioneers of public health and medical care in Blyth, Dr Gilbert Ward, is being remembered in the name of the school.
“We look forward to the opening of this important facility for children in Blyth and the surrounding area. We will be interested to watch how it progresses and helps young people with a range of special needs to fulfil their potential.”
Find out more about the Gilbert ward Academy at: