Unions fight to keep middle school jobs

SUFFOLK teaching unions today demanded county education chiefs abandon proposals to abolish middle schools until teaching jobs are guaranteed.

SUFFOLK teaching unions today demanded county education chiefs abandon proposals to abolish middle schools until teaching jobs are guaranteed.

In an open letter, the National Union of Teachers (NUT), UNISON, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT), and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) described plans by Suffolk County Council to change the countywide school structure and close middle schools as the “height of folly”.

The letter said: “We know that some of our middle schools provide excellent education and have great parental support.

“It would be the height of folly to destroy what is working well. The growing opposition from parents, pupils and staff involved, indicates that there are advantages to having separate dedicated buildings and staffing to bridge the transfer from primary to secondary education.”


You may also want to watch:


Signed by the unions' Suffolk representatives, the letter calls for a guarantee there will be no redundancies among teachers.

The letter said: “What we see at the moment is the destruction of our middle schools. We see no clear vision of what will replace them and, therefore, cannot judge whether any advantage in changing the system will outweigh the undoubted harmful effects of the current uncertainty and the disruption of reorganisation.”

Most Read

Suffolk County Council is expected to debate the closure of middle schools as part of its School Organisation Review at the end of March.

Councillor Patricia O'Brien, who has responsibility for children, schools and young people's services at the council, today said small village primary schools will not be wiped out if middle schools are abolished.

She said: “There is no intention to take primary schools away from local communities.

“The fact is that the Schools Organisation Review will enable us to improve the viability of many of our smaller schools. If the recommendations of the review go ahead we will be adding two extra years to primary schools in the current three-tier areas as the age range is increased.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter