max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Concerns over Tollgate Primary and Howard Middle delay schools shake-up

08:00 28 February 2014

Sweeping changes to education in Bury St Edmunds have taken yet another twist after a group of opposition councillors delayed the decision in an attempt to stop Suffolk County Council “railroading” the proposals through.


A group of Labour county councillors have demanded the results of the town’s school organisation review (SOR) be heard by the council’s scrutiny committee, despite its cabinet approving the proposals earlier this week.

The move to convert 20 schools in Bury to a two-tier system has now been delayed until the scrutiny committee passes judgement on the plans next month.

Sandy Martin, one of five to have called the decision in, said their objections centre on the inclusion of Tollgate Primary and Howard Middle in the restructuring, despite opposition from both schools.

Both schools have made moves in recent weeks to become academies and join the Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust, which is headed by County Upper - the closest high school to both Tollgate and Howard.

Mr Martin said: “The county council has a view, which I’m not necessarily arguing with, that the whole education system across the county should be a two-tier system.

“But now they’ve got a situation with different schools being able to do different things. They can’t get a ‘one school fits all’ approach through anymore,

“What it seems they’re doing is trying to railroad through what they would have been able to do five years ago, but in the face of opposition at the academy and some of the other schools.”

Tollgate Primary School has been in special measures since November 2012.

Earlier this month the school’s governors applied to become an academy, but Suffolk County Council moved to replace them with an interim executive board days later - a move that had been in the pipeline since January.

The Labour group put forward four faults in cabinet’s decision - the uncertainty surrounding Tollgate, the way consultation results were analysed, a lack of information about the academy trust, and a lack of detail about plans for a new high school in Moreton Hall.

Council officers accepted all the arguments bar the lack of information about the academy trust.

The Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust is made up of four schools - one primary, two middle and one upper - in a three-tier system with an “all-through” model, which is designed to track children all the way through their education.

County Upper, which was rated “outstanding” in every aspect by Ofsted in September, has traditionally served the Howard and Mildenhall Road estates, where Tollgate Primary and Howard Middle are based.

The proposals will be judged by the scrutiny committee on Wednesday, March 12.



Sharon Halls and Daniel Compton's baby, Evie

An Ipswich couple have launched a desperate online appeal to raise at least £184,000 for the care of a premature baby born 12 weeks early in the Dominican Republic.

Emergency services at the scene of the accident at Barton Mills.

The motorcyclist, 20, who died following a crash on the A1101 at Barton Mills yesterday is an airman from RAF Lakenheath.

Accident near Hintlesham causes delays.

There are delays on the A1071 near Hintlesham following an accident involving a car and motorbike this morning.

Light aircraft crashes in Essex, killing two people.

Two people have died after a light aircraft crashed in a field in Essex.

Are you a budding young writer?

Are you a wizard with words? Does your imagination race at 100 miles an hour and keep you awake at night?

Felixstowe's Martello Tower P, in Langer Road, open as part of Felixstowe's Heritage weekend.

A project to restore a defensive fort dating back to the Napoleonic era has received a £50,000 boost from a heritage funding cash pot.

Anne Humphrys and Bec Jasper have set up PACT support group for parents and families of children with disabilities.

Huge increases in the number of children in Suffolk suffering from mental health problems were today laid bare - amid major concerns about the quality of services youngsters receive.

B&Q in Anglia Retail Park will close by 2017.

Home improvement giant B&Q is set to close one of its biggest Suffolk stores - at Anglia Retail Park on the edge of Ipswich, it can be revealed.

The Nestle Purina site in Sudbury

A Sudbury pet food factory is under increasing pressure to tackle foul odours as it is revealed an environmental regulator recorded 40 stench complaints since last month.

Web fire

A kitchen fire was extinguished in Walder Grave Way, Manningtree, this afternoon.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages