Councillor criticises three-tier switch

Councillor David Nettleton
Councillor David Nettleton
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Councillor David Nettleton has called for a pause in Suffolk County Council’s plan to switch from three-tier to two-tier education in Bury St Edmunds.

On Monday, Allan Cadzow, Interim Director of Children and Young People’s Services for Suffolk County Council, gave a presentation on the council’s ‘Raising the Bar’ initiative at the Our Place Forum at St Edmundsbury Borough Council.

The initiative, launched in June 2012, includes completing the Schools Organisational Review.

At the meeting, Mr Cadzow said the three-tier system of education simply did not work.

He said: “Three-tier is a systemic problem.

“It’s not about headteachers or governors or teachers not being good enough.

“The system does not actually work. That is why there are so little middle schools left in the country.”

But after the presentation, Councillor Nettleton criticised the move to a two-tier system saying: “I have had three children go through the three-tier system in Bury St Edmunds, they have all attended university. The first two got degrees and the third is due to take their finals this summer. Please don’t tell me the three tier system doesn’t work.”

He added: “I would like them to pause it, not abandon it, but pause it while they complete the review.”

But on Twitter, Councillor Paul Farmer accused Cllr Nettleton of jumping on the ‘populist bandwagon’.

He said: “I think we should press ahead and there shouldn’t be the uncertainty that a pause will bring.”

A consultation on SOR in Bury St Edmunds is scheduled to go ahead later this year.