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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May, 2005, 08:31 GMT 09:31 UK
Poor response to academy proposal
Education leaders say they have had a disappointing response to a public consultation over controversial plans for a city academy.

Newcastle City Council is proposing the school to replace West gate Community College in the city's west end.

The council has held talks with Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay to discuss whether he would fund such a project.

About 30,000 questionnaires were sent out but just 300 have been returned, with Friday the deadline for replies.

Families had been asked about the proposals including which of three possible sites they think would be most suitable.

Shows indifference

The union Unison has expressed concern about the plans because of fears about private investment in education.

City council executive member for education Councillor Nick Cott said: "It is a disappointing response certainly."

He added "But I think what it does illustrate is, not as some of our opponents are saying that there is no support for an academy, but that there is indifference"

But he said he accepted the lack of response did not necessarily mean support either and that would be taken into consideration when the proposal was discussed.

A report will now go to the council's executive at the end of next month.


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