County's middle schools could be closed

SUFFOLK'S middle schools could become a thing of the past it was announced today. Councillors have recommend the county should adopt a single two-tier school system, a change that woiuld sound the death knell for Suffolk's 40 middle schools.

SUFFOLK'S middle schools could become a thing of the past it was announced today.

Councillors have recommend the county should adopt a single two-tier school system, a change that woiuld sound the death knell for Suffolk's 40 middle schools.

Currently Suffolk operates two systems where some youngsters go from primary to middle to high school while others in the county go straight from primary to high school.

A policy development panel (PDP) has agreed to recommend to Suffolk County Council's cabinet that the county should adopt a county-wide two tier system where youngsters go to primary school then on to high school, cutting out middle schools.

Patricia O' Brien, councillor with responsibility for children, schools and young people, chaired the policy panel.

She said: “This has been an exacting process, collecting information from many sources over the last nine months and carefully evaluating every piece of evidence, in order to arrive at our recommendation.

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“We looked at five different models on the way our schools could be organised in future and assessed how effective each would be in the three key areas of pupil performance, cost and sustainability.

“We needed to identify a school system that the county could afford, which would serve Suffolk pupils well for several generations and which would help those pupils achieve their maximum potential.

“Our conclusion is that a single system of two-tier schools across Suffolk best meets those criteria and will best meet the needs of pupils, parents, teachers and the community in the future.

“Our recommendations will go to the County Council's Cabinet for a decision in January 2007 and then, if accepted, to the full Council for approval in March.

“After that, the second phase of the review would begin, involving further, detailed consultation, area by area across Suffolk.”

The announcement is part of a wide ranging review into education in Suffolk.

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