Northumberland County Council initially consulted on changing the whole of west Northumberland to a two-tier school system. At the same time, Hadrian Learning Trust consulted on converting their Hexham schools to two-tier. After overwhelmingly negative responses on both issues, both decided against this change in the Hexham partnership.
However, the Council decided to go ahead in the Haydon Bridge partnership by closing Bellingham Middle School and changing the remaining Haydon Bridge partnership first schools into primaries.
Bellingham Middle School appealed against closure, and the Schools Adjudicator overruled the…
Those of you who follow QGIS closely might have noticed that development of qgis2web has significantly slowed since QGIS 3 was released. Is this of concern? What next for the plugin?
Perhaps all is well. Perhaps the fact that not many bugs are being found simply means that less development is required, and we don’t need to worry. This does not seem likely. qgis2web is simply middleware which bridges amazing software which itself has since developed significantly. …
The Council’s consultation report on education in west Northumberland, published at the end of the stage-two consultation period, contained the following emotive text: “Feedback from schools and the wider community in the Haydon Bridge Partnership has not expressed a desire to return to the 3-tier system therefore this would be an unpopular and retrograde step.”
This is baffling at best, and at worst the most disgraceful skewing of a debate through subjective language. The schools in our part of the Haydon Bridge partnership are three-tier, so we cannot…
Zoomstack is “a comprehensive vector basemap from a national overview to street level detail”. It comes in various extremely powerful and/or user-friendly formats such as GeoPackage, PostGIS, and vector tiles (both downloadable as an MBTiles file and hosted online and accessible via an API).
I’ve started to take a look at Zoomstack, using QGIS. Before reading this initial review, do take a look at Alasdair Rae’s:
It’s very much worth looking…
In responding to the Northumberland Council stage-two consultation on education in west Northumberland, I asked why surplus places were bad. Surplus places were cited as a reason for the proposals to close successful schools in the region. My argument was that if a school’s budget is balanced or in surplus, why do surplus places matter? On raising this in person with Council staff, we were simply told again that the Council had been required to reduce surplus places.
Haydon Bridge High School catchment area is more than twice the size of any other Northumberland high or secondary catchment. It is nearly four times the size of its neighbouring catchment of Hexham, the other school partnership affected by Northumberland Council’s consultation and proposed changes to education in west Northumberland.
Here’s what Haydon Bridge catchment looks like overlaid on Yorkshire:
The areas and distances are enormous, the equivalent of an area covering Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, Barnsley, and Sheffield. This is unusual. Yes, it is sparsely populated. However, sparse…
Perhaps I’m mistaken, but it seems to me that enthusiasm for Leaflet and OpenLayers web mapping libraries has cooled over recent times. After several years of real excitement, many seem to have drifted away to proprietary platforms such as Mapbox or Carto. Or Google Maps.
Then this week, Google announced changes to their mapping platform:
At this early stage, I make absolutely no claim to have digested the changes from Google. I believe that they have reduced their free usage allowance significantly, upped their usage charges by some…
Some of you will have read my post about school closures:
Yesterday, Northumberland County Council published their report on the responses to their consultation on schools in west Northumberland. Their consultation proposed three alternative options. In each one, our daughter’s fabulous school was proposed for closure.
We all objected. The school objected. The PTA objected. The parish council objected. The National Park Authority objected. We set up a petition to save the school, and our daughter signed it.
Northumberland County Council have abandoned all three proposed…
Northumberland County Council, you represent us. Your Councillors are elected by us, and your budgets come from our purses. To you, and to this whole exercise, we say no.
We’re not against change. I have no axe to grind on two-tier versus three-tier. We can agree on change together. That’s what consultation means. That’s what consultation is. At least, that’s what consultation should be.
But your false consultation is unacceptable. You have used our money to propose closing our successful and dearly loved school. No. Enough. This…
At FOSS4G UK 2018, Ross McDonald gave an amazing talk in the cartography stream on visualizing school catchment areas. Little did I know at the time how relevant to my family this would prove.
We live in deepest rural Northumberland, a few miles from the Scots border. We are truly lucky to live in the catchment area of the fabulous Greenhaugh First School. Our daughter is in her final year there, and we hope that her younger brother will also be lucky enough to attend. Greenhaugh has been…