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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 08:27 GMT 09:27 UK
Plans for 17m school move closer
The location of where a new 17m secondary school on Wearside will be built has been decided.

Sunderland City Council has agreed the school will be built on the existing Washington School site, in Spout Lane.

The new school is part of a shake-up of education in the area including the closure of Usworth School in 2007 because of falling pupil numbers.

Part of the land at Usworth could be handed to City of Sunderland College so it can build a sixth form college.

As well as agreeing the site for the new school, members of the council's cabinet also agreed in principle to allowing part of the land at Usworth to be taken over by City of Sunderland College.

Earlier this year, Sunderland was one of four education authorities in the north-east of England chosen for the Government's Building Schools for the Future scheme to replace current school buildings with modern facilities.

Surplus places

Sunderland's scheme is for 179m, with a first phase of 73m for eight schools.

Sunderland education director Dr Barbara Comiskey said: "It would cost a huge amount of money to repair and patch up the buildings we have at Usworth and Washington school.

"They are not 21st Century buildings and I would invite anyone to go and just have a look and see if they are the kind of state-of-the-art buildings they would want for the young people."

Councillors decided to close Usworth School at the end of last year because of the need to reduce the number of surplus places in classrooms.

It followed an intensive campaign by the community which also won the support of former pupil Heather Mills McCartney, wife of Sir Paul McCartney.

The measures will now go before the full council for approval on 26 May.

Heather backs school campaign
01 Oct 03  |  Wear

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