Parents’ concerns over middle school plans

PARENTS have voiced concerns over plans to axe three middle schools and set up a Free School in the Thurston area.

They are being urged with teachers, young people and governors to give their views on the proposed switch to two tier education, which would see Beyton, Ixworth and Blackbourne middle schools close in 2014.

Thurston Community College and the 17 primary schools in the area would take on extra year groups.

Writing to the Bury Free Press ahead of Monday’s consultation launch, Roberta Baxter, said: “My childrens’ pyramid of schools were doing well and do not need to be put through the upheaval of change with inadequate planning and insufficient financial input.”

J Webb said: “Our children’s middle schools are the envy of many of our friends whose children have to go through the two tier system. Please don’t let us lose what we have.”

The overhaul could see Beyton Middle accommodate a second campus for the college while a post-11 Free School could be set up at Blackbourne or Ixworth. Another option is for Stanton primary to move to Blackbourne.

Laura Davis, of Stanton, said: “I do support the need for an alternative secondary school in order to offer a feasible option for two tier education in this area but I’m really disappointed that this has to be done as a Free School. This whole restructure is a shambles with no consideration for the pupils’ education that is going to be put on hold whilst this chaos ensues.”

College principal Helen Wilson said: “Now the consultation document is in the public domain we’re able to openly discuss the detail of our proposal. We’re acutely aware that parents are concerned about their child’s education and so are we which is why we are proposing this change. It’s an undisputed fact that the three tier system doesn’t provide the same opportunities of success as two tier. The Free School offers a brilliant opportunity because it would give parental choice.”