Pupils react to Central High and Church High Merger
Sadness and anger have been the most common reactions, although some have been able to see a positive side.
Aisha Din spent the whole of her school life at Church High, from age 3 to 18. She told JesmondLocal: ‘’I was shocked about the merge, but more because I didn’t think the school was somewhat struggling, which seems to the case.
“I think private schools are a dying race and a lot of people I know were sad, especially as this has already happened at Newcastle School for Boys.
“I think if it saves the school, the teachers, the building and everything that comes along with it I’d be happy that they’re all safe’’.
A current year 11 pupil told us she has “loved nearly every minute’’ of being at Church High and there was sadness amongst her peers, ‘‘at losing the school’s identity, of being small, family-like and being green.’’
She was also saddened that the school might lose its Christian ethos.
Another Church High pupil said: “Parents were mostly angry because they had chosen Church High over Central for certain reasons. I believe there have been threats to take legal action but these seem to have dispersed.”
At least 11 out of the 30 of the current year-11 girls at Church High will be leaving to go elsewhere for sixth form. Most of these decisions were made before the announcement of the merger, but one year-11 pupil told us that no other school “matched up to Church High… and [I] will therefore be joining the Newcastle High School for Girls for a year.’’
She she went on to say: “I think that the merger will be really good for younger years as they will benefit from the great teaching of Central staff and the new facilities. However, for girls currently in Year 11 and Year 9 it will be rather disruptive as they are going between important years of their academic life.’’
Current and old girls alike have used Facebook to express pride in their schools. JesmondLocal understands girls from Church High changed their profile pictures to old school photos, and one girl posted a photo of a cake she had made, covered in green icing.
Church High girls have also created a Facebook page called Always a Church High Girl, whilst girls at Central High have reportedly created an anti-merger Facebook group.
When asked if she thought that the traditional rivalry between Church High and Central High could be a problem in the merger, Aisha Din said: ‘’I guess I still think these are silly rumours, as I never really knew Central High girls, but we’re all private school girls wanting to get an education and make something with our lives, so I’m sure they’ll get on fine.
“We’ll all still cherish our green and blue uniform. Our house teams and all the teachers that helped guide us through our adolescence, they’ll all mean a lot to us and my love goes out to them.”