Head quits over move to two-tier

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THE headteacher of a soon to be axed middle school has resigned over his stance on the switch to two tier education.

Andy Nicholson, of Beyton Middle, is stepping down because he ‘believes in three tier schooling’ and fears his continued presence could become an ‘impediment to effective change’.

He will leave the post he has held for eight years in December.

The 54-year-old said: “The changes being made to education in this area are not to my liking. I’m a middle school headteacher and believe in the three tier system. It works and I run a good school.

“This has happened to us and I don’t want any part in it. If I stay I think I might become an impediment to effective change.

“It’s a shame it’s happening like this but I feel it’s what I need to do. I don’t see myself being a headteacher again.

“The reason I’m going is positive for me and the situation. There’s more chance of it being successful. My presence could actually be detrimental to making things happen.”

Deputy headteacher Anne Gardner will lead the school to closure in 2014 as headteacher when Mr Nicholson leaves.

He plans to study a doctorate in education. It draws to a close a 22 year career in headteaching, which started at Needham Market Middle, followed by Bungay Middle and Beyton.

When asked about the reaction from parents he said: “The emails I’ve had have expressed a sadness and understanding. People know I’ve tried very hard to keep this school open.”

Beyton, Blackbourne and Ixworth Middle Schools are closing as part of the transition to two tier schooling in the Thurston area.

Extra year groups will be taken on by 17 primary schools and Thurston Community College, which will use the Beyton site as a second campus.

Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council’s portfolio holder for schools, said: “I’m sorry to hear of Mr Nicholson’s decision. I can assure the parents and pupils at Beyton we will do our very best to support this school in the transition to the two tier system as we’ve done in the 27 middle schools that have preceded it in the School Organisation Review programme.”

n See page 6 for details on the proposed Ixworth Free School.