Stowmarket: Parents set up committee to fight schools’ move to two-tier
PARENTS angry over the move from three-tier to two-tier schooling have set up a committee to fight the plans.
A meeting was held on October 22 where parents from schools across the Stowmarket area expressed frustration about Suffolk County Council’s consultation.
Parents gathered in Old Newton’s Social Club to hear from representatives of Bacton Middle School, which is due to close as part of the move from the three-tier to two-tier system.
Julie Mitchell, 43, of Thorney Green Road, Stowupland, said parents were not being listened to and were preparing to lobby the Government: “It seems different meetings are getting different answers. Everybody is getting very angry, it’s not moving forward at all.
“It’s very frustrating at the moment and people are concerned about teachers leaving the middle schools. The teachers may leave for secure jobs.
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“I’d like to think they would listen to people. People are saying it’s a done deal – it’s already been decided. There’s nothing wrong with what we have now.
“We want them to look at other options – the all-through school option.
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“At the end of the day we want Bacton to stay open. We are fighting for their education,” she added.
Mrs Mitchell said other moves to two-tier were better financed than Stowmarket and Stowupland’s.
But a spokeswoman for Suffolk County Council said the proposed closure of Bacton Middle School was not a matter for the Government.
She said schools that are increasing in size would be encouraged to take on teachers who had left a middle school.
Councillor Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for education and young people, said: “Only 1% of schools in England are middle schools compared with 10% in the 1980s. This decrease would not have happened if there was not evidence to support the change.
“In Suffolk the data shows the process and attainment of young people in two-tier areas is consistently better than in three-tier areas. This gap remains and must be addressed.
“The recent Key Stage 2 results showed that schools now operating within the two-tier system of education in Suffolk have seen as much as a 19% improvement in some subjects.”
The spokeswoman said Stowmarket and Stowupland’s revenue budget for the change is at the same level as in other areas.