Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 6°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: Mixed reaction to decision to axe middle schools in town

09:13 12 June 2014

Best for Bury schools petiton handover at West Suffolk House. Left to right, Trevor Bluett, Kate McDonald, Ernie Broom, Bernadine Miller and Suzan Bluett.

Best for Bury schools petiton handover at West Suffolk House. Left to right, Trevor Bluett, Kate McDonald, Ernie Broom, Bernadine Miller and Suzan Bluett.

Archant

While many schools have welcomed the decision to change to a two-tier structure of education in the Bury St Edmunds area, others have expressed concerns over the impact of the move in the north and west parts of the town.

shares

On Tuesday Suffolk County Council’s cabinet confirmed the closure of four middle schools in the town – Howard, Hardwick, St James CEVA and St Louis Middle Schools – and extending the age ranges of most of the other schools. There will also be a new high school at Moreton Hall.

As the Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust schools – County Upper, Barrow CEVC Primary, Horringer Court Middle and Westley Middle – are outside of these plans, this structure will operate in the town alongside two tier.

Sue Herriott, chair of the Bury Schools Partnership which has supported the move to two tier, said many parents and teachers would be “relieved” the decision had finally been made.

“When we established this ground-breaking partnership of schools we said that we would focus on raising standards, increasing opportunities for children, and developing teaching quality – irrespective of what happened with two or three tier.

“This means that we are very well placed to work closely to ensure that during the coming two years, and in the future, children will have a really happy and successful time at our schools.”

The Bury Schools Partnership is made up of 18 schools in and around the town.

Ernie Broom, chairman of the Howard Estate Association of Residents and Tenants (HEART), said he was “very, very disappointed” with the decision. “It’s a very sad day for democracy because we were told at the very beginning of this consultation exercise they would listen to what the people wanted.”

There has been considerable opposition to the county council’s plans from those living on the Howard and Mildenhall Road estates, who said the changes will make it less straight forward for young people there to access education at their local upper school, County Upper School.

Councillor David Nettleton, who represents this area on the county council, said it was “important” for talks to continue with the academy trust to try and get a resolution for those in north and west parts of Bury.

Richard Fletcher, chairman of the academy trust board, said: “The local authority’s plans leave parents on the western side of Bury, not just those on the Howard estate, with no clear route to the trust schools they wish to use.

“However, the trust will work hard to explain to parents how their children can access the all-through schooling we provide and will plan to ensure that as many as possible can enjoy this from age four to 19.

“We remain open to working with the local authority and other schools in Bury St Edmunds to give true choice and diversity of provision.”

He said the cabinet decision created “a number of significant problems”, including excess school places.

Mr Nettleton also said the cabinet meeting had been conducted in a “chaotic way,” describing how this item on the agenda had to be deferred until after lunch because cabinet members had only been given the draft report.

The Best for Bury group, which has been campaigning for an 
“all-through system” across the town, said they wanted to review what had been decided due to the way the meeting had been conducted.

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Teen robbed of phone and bike

Police are appealing for help to find two men who robbed a teenager at knifepoint.

Suspected gas explosion on Federick Road in Gorleston.

 Picture: James Bass

Two people have been taken to hospital following a suspected gas explosion near Lowestoft.

The new community cinema launched in St Mary's Church in Bury. Joanna Rayner and Rev Cannon Malcolm Rogers are pictured.

A Bury St Edmunds church is turning into a cinema as it intends to hold free community film events over the coming year.

@TheRec in Stowmarket

Six buildings in Suffolk are in the running to win awards dished out by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

Cobbolds Point, Felixstowe, by Peter Smith, is on show as part of the Suffolk Creative Photographic Group exhibition at Woodbridge Library during March

From broody compositions to sun-kissed scenes – an exhibition of photographs currently on display at a Suffolk library has a bit of everything to offer.

Ipswich Hospital

A woman was been taken to hospital with a suspected broken arm and rib after falling from a horse.

Work continues to repair the collapsed sewer in Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.

A bus driver has said emergency roadworks in Ipswich town centre are causing “absolute chaos”.

Children at Capel St Mary Primary School celebrating World Book Day with a bedtime story event

Pupils from schools across Suffolk and Essex have been celebrating this year’s World Book Day in style by dressing up and getting involved with a host of book-related activities.

Man suffers serious facial injuries in Chelmsford

Police are investigating how a man came to be found in a road in Chelmsford with serious facial injuries.

Pupils and staff at Bunnies Day Care in Combs Ford take part in a superhero day.

Children at a Suffolk nursery have been imitating their favourite superheroes and princesses.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages