Middle school challenge dropped

A COUNCIL has done a U-turn over taking legal action against Suffolk County Council's plans to scrap middle schools.

Laurence Cawley

A COUNCIL has done a U-turn over taking legal action against Suffolk County Council's plans to scrap middle schools.

Under the county council's school organisation review, all 40 middle schools in the county will be abolished, with primary and secondary schools expanded to take the extra pupils.

Forest Heath District Council had agreed to write to the county council warning it was minded to take legal action over the plans.

The letter was sent after the council's legal advisors said it had a better than evens chance of winning a case against the county council over the way consultation had been carried out with the public.

But the Conservative-led Forest Heath has now decided against taking action against the Conservative-led county council after a vote of 14 to 9, carried out in secret during a meeting last night.

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Liberal Democrat councillor Tim Huggan said: “When it came to deciding to save their own skins or supporting local parents the Tories chose to save their own skins. Not an edifying spectacle. For all their bluster, they failed parents when they were most needed.”

Forest Heath leader Geoffrey Jaggard said: “This was not about two or three tier school systems. That has been decided by others elsewhere.

“The mature decision was made to accept the outcome of the review, albeit reluctantly, and lend our support to the schools and teachers who must make it work. Headteachers and governors across the District have made it clear to me that the last thing they need now is more uncertainty."