Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families, has visited Berwick Academy to hear from pupils, staff and governors about how academy status has improved the learning environment for all pupils, including those with special educational needs.
The Minister, whose responsibilities include special educational needs and disability, saw first-hand how the staff and governors of Berwick Academy have created a positive learning environment for all pupils at the school.
Alexis Widdowson, headteacher at Berwick Academy, said: “It was helpful to have the opportunity to discuss what we are doing for our most vulnerable students with Edward and to share our concerns about funding constraints for small schools, particularly those in the North East.”
The minister met head girl Hannah Moses, head boy Kieran Bullen and deputy head boy Corey Johnston to hear their views on how the Academy, established in 2011, has improved learning outcomes at the school.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Berwick, said: “As a mother of a child with Aspergers syndrome, I have first-hand experience of the challenges children with special needs face.
“In my role as special needs link governor for Berwick Academy I know that pupils of all learning backgrounds can benefit from academy-status schools thanks to the positive environments they create.”
Mr Timpson found the visit very useful.
“It’s visiting schools like Berwick Academy that help reinforce the case for the greater freedoms we’ve given excellent head teachers like Alexis to get on with their relentless drive for improvement - well supported by Anne-Marie and others,” he said.
“It’s also why we’re moving to a fairer National Funding Formula, so that smaller schools don’t miss out on the money they need to support their pupils in achieving their very best.”
Pictured above at the school with Edward Timpson MP (centre) are, from left, Alexis Widdowson, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, and students head girl Hannah Moses, head boy Kieran Bullen and deputy head boy Corey Johnston.