Good news for children

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The outcome of the consultation on schools reorganisation in the Thurston area has come out in favour of a change to two-tier education. This is very good news for the future education of our children and I urge Suffolk County Council Cabinet to support the outcome of the consultation by voting in favour of the change at its meeting next week. These plans have been driven by the schools, not politicians, and it has been the strength of the argument for two-tier that has cut through the understandable emotion involved in such a decision. No other SOR consultation so far undertaken in Suffolk has had such support. The head teachers of the Thurston Partnership know their children and their schools. Their passion has persuaded the public that closing the middle schools and reverting to the same structure used in the rest of the country will result in higher standards. The consultation process was thorough although, at times, bad-tempered. I sincerely hope that now everyone will now unite behind the Thurston Partnership plan and work towards making it a success for the sake of all our children. In particular, the idea of a free school at Ixworth creates unnecessary uncertainty. This school is not needed when Thurston Community College is an Ofsted-rated outstanding school and will have enough capacity for all pupils. The consultation showed that parents are badly split on the free school. Those proposing the Ixworth Free School should drop their divisive plan and instead support the Thurston Partnership, directing their desire for good education towards proposals that have the clear support of the community.

Martin Campbell,