Suffolk: Parent back school’s move to two-tier system

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- Credit: PA

PARENTS and teachers are backing the controversial move to the two-tier school system after they chose early to adopt the proposals.

The headteacher of Creeting St Mary CEVAP School, near Needham Market, said parents “pushed” the school to make the changes ahead of Suffolk County Council voting to abolish middle schools in the area last week .

Headteacher Lyn Spall said: “Obviously parents want children to be happy and the schools in the Stowmakret area are all very good at pastoral care and making sure the children are happy, which is great. Educationally, from the results, it has been proven the children in a two-tier system do better and get higher grades in their GCSEs than at three-tier.

“There’s something not quite right when a child changes school and it takes six months to get used to the school. If they have to do it twice they are losing time.

“The results have shown that the middle schools are not doing well enough.”


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The school used to be part of the Stowmarket pyramid and sent pupils to Needham Market Middle and then Stowmarket or Stowupland High Schools.

In 2011 Creeting St Mary started a process to move to the two-tier system and become a feeder school for Debenham High School. Mrs Spall said none of the students who had the option of staying at the school last September in the new Year 5 opted to go to Needham Market Middle School.

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Parent Rebecca McPhie, who has two sons at Creeting St Mary, said: “I would say the support to go to two-tier was absolutely overwhelming. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that children perform better in two-tier.”

The county council’s decision to abolish the middle schools was met with fierce opposition from parents’ group Suffolk Action for Truth on SOR (Schools Reorganisation Review).

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