Cabinet agrees to two-tier schools plan

SUFFOLK'S schools could soon be moving to a two-tier system, despite fierce objections from parents and teachers, it was announced today.

SUFFOLK'S schools could soon be moving to a two-tier system, despite fierce objections from parents and teachers, it was announced today.

Suffolk County Council's Cabinet agreed to approve the proposals for changes to Suffolk schools, including a move to an all two-tier system.

Councillor Jeremy Pembroke, leader of the council, said the cabinet's decision to support the Policy Development Panel's recommendations was unanimous.

The recommendations of the cabinet will be discussed at the full county council meeting on 22 March 2007.

Cllr Pembroke said: "We took great care to study the panel's final report and the supporting evidence and in the end we felt that the case for change was overwhelming.

“We recognised that these are far reaching and highly ambitious proposals, which will involve changing a system that has been in place in parts of the county since the 1970s.

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"We are also aware that many people are opposed to the proposals.

“However, the county council does have statutory responsibility for planning and managing the county's education and therefore we have to take often difficult decisions on how we can achieve the very best education for our children in the long term.

"I understand that change is often unwelcome, but in this case the dangers of doing nothing are too great. If we are to give our children the best start in life, we must introduce the change.

"I appreciate the uncertainties that change brings, I want to reassure parents, children and teachers that if the council accepts the recommendations in March, the second stage would be carried out with a measured and careful approach.

“Our focus will be to ensure that the education of our children is cushioned against disruption and that our teachers are helped and supported through the process.

"Our aim has always been to secure the very best education for the children of Suffolk. We will continue to make this a top priority."

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