A £24m investment for the North-East was announced this week by Education Secretary Damian Hinds during his visit to the new school at Darras Hall.

The Secretary of State for Education unveiled a plaque to declare the £5.8m Darras Hall Primary School officially open as he visited the region to launch his Opportunity North East programme, which is aimed enhancing future employment opportunities for young people.

Half of the funding will be invested in boosting early career training for new teachers in a bid to raise standards in North-East schools, with the other £12m going towards driving up standards and improving outcomes for students aged 16 and over.

The announcement has faced some criticism with Labour MPs claiming the funding won’t paper over the cracks created by the current Government. Angela Rayner, the Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said: “The funding announced is nothing compared to the funding that has been cut from Sure Start centres, schools, and colleges across the region.

“The Tories are trying to say that austerity is over, but the reality is that schools are still facing a funding crisis after eight years of deep and damaging cuts.”

It also comes at a time when it was revealed spending in Northumberland had fallen by £39 per pupil during the current school year.

Figures from the Department for Education showed spending per pupil in Northumberland was the equivalent of £4,436, which is a one per cent drop on 2017-2018.

Mr Hinds hoped the injection of £24m would improve children’s educational experiences across the region.

He said: “There are today too many education measures on which the North-East is listed ninth in the list of nine English regions. It doesn’t have to be like that.

“In fact, the North-East has a lot of really outstanding education, especially so at primary level. The job now is to spread that through more of the secondary level and beyond.”