Warning of fight to save school

A HEADTEACHER has warned the education authority that teachers and parents would fight any suggestion of closing their school.Sally Holmes, headteacher at Stowmarket Middle School, urged people to join the campaign to keep middle schools open.

A HEADTEACHER has warned the education authority that teachers and parents would fight any suggestion of closing their school.

Sally Holmes, headteacher at Stowmarket Middle School, urged people to join the campaign to keep middle schools open.

And she warned that if the authority announces the closure of their site she will lose her teachers who will go on to others that do have a future, plunging her 600-strong school into a cycle of declining standards.

Mrs Holmes, speaking at a meeting at her school, said: “Children feel safe and secure here because they have a gradual development in their education.

“As soon as staff hear that a school is closing you can't recruit, we will need to use supply teachers and standards will fall. A whole generation of children could be in this situation. Children not even born yet could come into this chaos and confusion. Pupils could be based at larger, more remote schools.

“We know our children well; we do a very good job. My younger teachers want a career structure, we will have a real job trying to retain excellent staff here, they will want to leave.”

Most Read

But Suffolk County Council, whose representatives attended the meeting, said that research undertaken over several years shows the standards attained by children in three-tier schools, including middle schools, are lower than for the two-tier primary and secondary school system.

And they said that the proposed changes to the school system in Suffolk as part of an education review are to ensure the highest standards for local children into the future.

The authority has pledged to consult carefully on how change is made in each local situation, and said that it is very unlikely that many children in schools at present will be affected.

The council accepts that it may be an uncertain and anxious time for staff, parents and pupils, but said training and support would be available to staff if they are to move into a new school system.

The authority's cabinet will meet on January 16, and the full council on March 22, to discuss the proposals.

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