Twenty one schools have joined forces to improve teaching, develop the curriculum and share expertise ahead of the switch to two tier education in Bury St Edmunds.
The Bury Schools Partnership wants to ensure a ‘smooth’ transition with a focus on the progress and wellbeing of all pupils in preparation for the controversial move in 2016.
The group was launched at a conference attended by 320 teachers and teaching assistants at King Edward VI School, in Bury. Head Geoff Barton said: “It came from a project we did looking at literacy in each of our schools. It led to a strong feeling we ought to be working more closely on classroom issues.”
A working group of heads will meet once a week focusing on staff training, the curriculum and special projects which bring pupils together from the different schools.
On the future for middle school staff, Mr Barton said they ‘want to ensure really good teachers stay’. He said there will ‘need to be another secondary school in town which is likely to be in Moreton Hall’,
He added: “When we get to September and consultation begins, that will allow us to get into the nitty gritty of how many teachers will be needed, where they will work and how they will be deployed.”
Those in the partnership are Abbot’s Green, All Saint’s, Great Whelnetham, Guildhall Feoffment, Hardwick, Howard, Ickworth Park, Risby, Sexton’s Manor, St Edmundsbury, Tollgate, Westgate, Sebert Wood and St Edmund’s Catholic Primary Schools.
There is also the Albany Centre, First Base, Riverwalk School, Hardwick, Howard and St James Middle Schools and King Edward VI.