Union chiefs' plea for middle schools

UNION chiefs have made a last-ditch plea to save Suffolk's middle schools from the axe claiming the plans lacked vision.The county's National Union of Teachers have sent a letter to all eight members of Suffolk County Council's cabinet before tomorrow's D-day decision.

UNION chiefs have made a last-ditch plea to save Suffolk's middle schools from the axe claiming the plans lacked vision.

The county's National Union of Teachers (NUT) have sent a letter to all eight members of Suffolk County Council's cabinet before tomorrow's D-day decision.

NUT division secretary Martin Goold said it was impossible for the union to support the controversial plans - which have faced a backlash across Suffolk - claiming there was no clear replacement in place.

Urging councillors to delay any decision, Mr Goold wrote: “All we see at the moment is the destruction of our middle schools.


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“We see no clear vision of what will replace them and therefore cannot judge whether any advantage in changing the system will outweigh the effects of the current uncertainty and the consequential disruption of reorganisation.

“We consider it a serious mistake to have announced a timetable for the closure of middle schools before the council has any clear proposals for what will replace them.”

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Mr Goold said the NUT felt any changes to the existing three-tier system should come as a “wholesale review” of education up to the age of 19 years old and called for improved details on the future of each middle school and its staff.

Meanwhile, concerned parents across the county are gearing themselves up to launch protests outside the county council headquarters before the fate of the county's 40 middle schools is decided at tomorrow's meeting.

The County Council has previously said that it will consult carefully on the changes.

Patricia O'Brien, said at the release of the secondary school league tables last week: “I do honestly believe it will make a difference. It is fair to stay that schools perform better under the two-tier system.

“The system we currently have is not fit for purpose for the 21st Century and, looking at the evidence, it does need to change. Expectations are far too low and we need to lay a much firmer foundation for improvement.”

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