Campaign launched to save middle school

PARENTS, business leaders and an MP crammed into a school to launch a campaign to save a high achieving west Suffolk school from the scrapheap.

Jonathan Schofield

By Jonathan Schofield

PARENTS, business leaders and an MP crammed into a school to launch a campaign to save a high achieving west Suffolk school from the scrapheap.

South Suffolk MP Tim Yeo told dozens of concerned parents that they must join forces to persuade the county council to turn Stoke-by-Nayland Middle School into a flagship secondary.


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Under the current proposals all middle schools will be shut by 2013 in Suffolk County Council's bid to move from a three-tier to a two-tier education system.

Nicky West, 36, of Stone Street, who is leading the campaign said: “Our rural way of like is being stripped away here and under current proposals we will lose our school and have no choice but to drive or bus our children long distances to large schools. This is not choice and goes against everything the Government keeps telling us we are supposed to be getting.

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“We only have a few weeks to get together a petition and set out a clear policy on how to turn Stoke-by-Nayland school into a high school and we must rally ourselves now to achieve this.”

At the meeting in Boxford Primary School yesterdayMr Yeo said he would back any plans to retain the school adding: “Suffolk County Council has an obsession with large schools and you must make it impossible for them to ignore your wishes and your choice to have a rural school for your children.”

He assured parents that if a Conservative government was voted in next year they would ensure parents were given more say about what schools they could have in their areas.

Directors from Copella Fruit Juices in Boxford attended the meeting to show their support for keeping good schools in the area.

Rowan Connolly, who is helping to run the campaign, said: “It is vital that we have well educated young people in the region to ensure we have high calibre workers for our local companies.”

A spokesman from Suffolk County Council said they were still happy to receive any comments or suggestions from the public during the consultation period which ends on December 18.

To join the campaign e-mail sos-stoke-by-nayland@hotmail.com or e-mail Mrs West on nickywestphotos@btinternet.com.

jonathan.schofield@eadt.co.uk

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