A headteacher has lamented the potential demise of ‘successful’ middle schools in a planned education shake -up after his was praised by Ofsted.
Paul Elstone says St James Middle School’s improvement from a ‘satisfactory’ to ‘good’ rating recognises the ‘hardwork of the teachers, support staff and pupils’.
The school, in Vinefields, Bury St Edmunds, could close in July 2016 in the controversial move to two tier education in the town.
Mr Elstone said: “Although we see change as inevitable, it does seem a huge pity that middle schools where they have been successful are likely to disappear in the not distant future.”
Inspectors highlighted the ‘good teaching and achievement, rapid achievement in mathematics and writing and that leaders have remained focused on improving the school and on raising standards further’.
However, they felt the school was not yet outstanding because ‘progress in reading, though good, is not as strong as in writing and mathematics’ and ‘a few lower achieving pupils and individual pupils with special educational needs make uneven progress’.
Mr Elstone said he was pleased the inspectors recognised that he and the governors ‘are highly ambitious for the school to continue to improve right up to the time that it closes’.
When asked about the school’s future, he said: “The aim for the next few years is to maintain pupil numbers, provide the best quality teaching for the children and boost educational opportunities both in the classroom and in terms of extra curricular activities right upto the date of potential closure.”
Suffolk County Council will hold a public consultation on the plans from October 7 to December 13.
Mr Elstone added: “While we’re not second guessing the outcome of the consultation, it would be hugely surprising for the council to do a u-turn.”