Decision to move to two-tier schooling in Bury St Edmunds on hold after call-in

Exterior of Tollgate Primary School, Bury St Edmunds.
Exterior of Tollgate Primary School, Bury St Edmunds.
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A decision to move to two-tier schooling in the Bury St Edmunds area has been suspended after Labour councillors raised questions over uncertainty surrounding the future direction of a primary school in special measures.

They called-in the decision made by Suffolk County Council’s cabinet on Tuesday - seeking answers over Tollgate Primary School, which plans to join the break-away Bury St Edmunds Academy Trust but could see its governing body replaced as council bosses attempt to install an Interim Executive Board (IEB).

The authority is asking the Department for Education to set up an IEB as the school has been in special measures for more than a year.

The notice for call-in, which was proposed by Cllr Sonia Barker, said: “It will not be clear whether Tollgate Primary can join the Bury Academy Trust until the council has heard back from the Secretary of State for Education as to whether the Interim Executive Board will be allowed to take control from the existing board of governors. Therefore cabinet do not have sufficient information to be able to take a viable decision.”

They also questioned the use of the consultation results arguing that ‘too much weight has been given to responses from parents and staff at schools which are not going to be significantly impacted and not enough weight has been given to those likely to close or who could be involved in any alternative provision’.

The decision by cabinet will be suspended until the outcome of a scrutiny committee meeting on March 12.

For more on this story see Friday’s Bury Free Press.