Suffolk schools review progresses

A PROCESS of moving to a two-tier school system in Suffolk has progressed today.

A PROCESS of moving to a two-tier school system in Suffolk has progressed today.

Suffolk County Council's cabinet approved the proposals for which areas would be reviewed first.

The first to go through the consultation and implementation process will be Lowestoft and Haverhill, beginning in the summer term of 2007.

The second group will include the Beccles, Bungay, Leiston, Mildenhall and Newmarket areas, beginning in the summer term of 2008.

The third group will be the Bury St Edmunds, Thurston, Sudbury and Stowmarket areas, beginning in the summer term of 2009.

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council said: “The review process will be carried out in three phases to ensure it is managed carefully, allowing sufficient time to consult thoroughly with people and stakeholders.

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“It is also due to start in those areas where the need for change is greatest.”

The choice of areas, linked to the Building Schools for the Future programme, was based on comparative attainment and social needs indicators.

Also taken into account were the relative priorities in each area for a review of post-16 provision and the capacity of the authority to undertake re-organisation in the areas in each phase.

All schools have been consulted on the criteria for deciding on the areas in each phase.

The consultation in each area will consider all the options, but if the decision is to make changes, it will be a number of years before they take effect.

Mr Pembroke added: “We are on the threshold of a significant programme of change to the pattern of school provision within Suffolk.

“The school organisation review represents the largest single review of school provision in Suffolk for over 30 years. The Building Schools for the Future initiative has the potential to deliver unparalleled capital investment into Suffolk's secondary schools.

“Both programmes are closely linked and, together, provide the platform to raise standards in Suffolk schools.

“We need a school system that will allow every child and young person to achieve their maximum potential.”

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