Union plea to save schools

LAST gasp calls to reject the abolition of Suffolk's middle schools were voiced from education experts today.

LAST gasp calls to reject the abolition of Suffolk's middle schools were voiced from education experts today.

The county's members of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) have sent a letter to all Suffolk County councillors asking them not to agree to proposals to close the schools when voting takes place on Thursday.

In the letter, signed by the NUT Suffolk Division Secretary Martin Goold, it said: “Suffolk NUT, the largest of the teacher organisations in Suffolk with over 3,000 in-service members, urges all county councillors not to sign the death warrant of all our middle schools.

“The NUT asks you to reject the proposals and refer the entire matter back to a new panel, to produce properly worked-through plans for a genuine reorganisation of provision from Nursery to 19.”


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Among its arguments, it said new plans are needed to preserve separate provision for the middle years, to listen to the views of parents, teachers and pupils, to allow middle schools to evolve and to negotiate an employment stability plan with the recognised unions and governing bodies.

It said the council has “Denigrated the achievements and ethos of middle schools and their teachers, pressurised headteachers into openly supporting the proposals- while threatening action against those who fight publicly for the continuation of their school and refused to meet with the unions to discuss how staffing matters would be handled in the event of closure.”

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The letter says: “We can assure councillors that, if the reorganisation plan really was good for all our pupils, in first, middle and upper schools, the NUT would not be opposed.

“We are opposed at present because the current plan gives no guarantee that the new provision will be any better than what it will destroy.”

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