Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 8°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.


Joe Snell (left) and Toby Halls

Two boys with “hearts of gold” will be handed a BBC Radio 1 teen hero award for their charity work in Sudbury on Sunday, following the death of their close friend when he was just 13.

Fundraisers at Sandman 2015. This year's event has been cancelled. Image: Kevin Bell

A fundraising event which had hoped to raise tens of thousands for an Essex hospice this weekend has been cancelled.

Corrie CCTV Screen

An abandoned van has been seized by police searching for missing RAF Honington serviceman Corrie McKeague, aged 23.

Suffolk Lowland Search and Rescue team search for Corrie McKeague just outside Troston Slades Covert. Photo Mark Westley

Suffolk police officers are attempting to trace a group seen talking to Corrie McKeague at a pizza takeaway on the night of his disappearance.

Archie Joe Darby and Daniel-Jay Darby. Archie, four months, was killed and Daniel-Jay was seriously injured after being bitten by a dog at their Colchester home.

A four-month-old baby was snatched from his mother’s arms by the family dog and mauled to death, an inquest has heard.

Police were called to the crash

A man in his 30s is in hospital with serious injuries after a crash Stowmarket last night.

Ron Harris outside the first home he shared with his wife, Nina, at Shingle Street before the Second World War. Photo supplied for Life on the Edge by the Harris family.

It’s a place with tragedy and mystery in its past – but as many stories of resilient determination to build a community amid its wild and isolated environment.

Most read

Great Days Out


Click here to view
the Great Days Out


Most commented


Show Job Lists

Don't miss


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24