College revises its plans for middle school site

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A college has revised its plans for the use of a middle school site as part of the county-wide move to two tier education.

Thurston Community College was to use Beyton Middle School to accommodate some of its 11-16-year-olds as it anticipated taking on 360 pupils in each year group.

However, it will now use the Beyton site as a bespoke Sixth Form centre as it predicts a reduction in entry - with 280 to 300 children being admitted in each year - following the Government’s decision to allow a Free School to open in Ixworth.

Those aged 11 to 16 will be based at the current Thurston building.

Principal Helen Wilson said: “In many ways this makes for a more sensible solution.”

She said the Sixth Form Centre will have its own identity and ethos but will remain part of the college with staff teaching across both sites. Transport will also be provided for sixth formers to access the Thurston site.

Meanwhile, Ms Wilson has offered two forward contracts to middle school staff and has advertised another six posts. She said: “I stand by my word that I will offer as many forward contracts as I can.”

The middle schools in the Thurston area will close next year.