Haverhill middle schools will be axed

THE first wave of middle school closures has been given the go-ahead as Suffolk prepares to switch to a uniform educational system of primary and secondary schools.

Graham Dines

THE first wave of middle school closures has been given the go-ahead as Suffolk prepares to switch to a uniform educational system of primary and secondary schools.

The decision affects Haverhill and the surrounding villages Clare, Cavendish, Glemsford, Hartest, Hundon, Keddington and Wickhambrook.

Four middle schools - Clare and the Haverhill trio of Castle Hill, Chalkstone and Parkway - will shut their doors in 2011 and pupils transferred to surrounding primary and secondary schools.


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Fifteen primary schools will be extended to take pupils up to year six, while secondary education will be provided two colleges - Castle Manor business and enterprise college and Samuel Ward arts and technology colleges. There age range will be extended to take pupils from year seven upwards.

There will be a two year transition process and all middle schools in the Haverhill area will close in September 2011, with young people remaining in primary schools until the age of 11 before transferring to a secondary school. This will give staff the time to take up training or development opportunities to ensure they are equipped to make the change to the structure and to help young people improve their levels of achievement.

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Rosalind Turner, director for children and young people, told this afternoon's meeting of the county council's cabinet that the reorganisation of schools into a two-tier system “represents an opportunity to improve the quality of education within the Haverhill area. Research strongly shows that the two-tier system performs better than three-tier and moving to a two-tier system countywide will enable £4.4million to be re-invested in schools each year.”

Patricia O'Brien portfolio holder for children schools and young people's services said: “The proposals agreed today were based on principles agreed by the county council in 2007 relating to pupil “

Final detailed proposals for Lowestoft have been delayed until September to enable the county council to find partners to run a new secondary school in south Lowestoft and for the education and skills council to attract a provider for a new post-16 college in the town.

Suffolk has 40 middle schools, all of which are to replaced by the primary and secondary system.

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