Final countdown for St Louis school

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THE FINAL decision on the future of St Louis Catholic Middle school in Bury St Edmunds is being made on Tuesday.

The Catholic diocese of East Anglia is behind the move to close the school after the closure of all of Bury’s middle schools was put on hold by Suffolk County Council when it ran out of spare cash.

The council had started a phased closure of middle schools across West Suffolk as part of a move from three to two tier education.

But with the Bury closures now on hold for several years, the diocese said it needed to push through its closure of St Louis. It says the school takes pupils from other towns like Haverhill which has already made the switch to two tier education – and so it needs to press ahead with the change to two tier Catholic school education in Bury to maintain its pyramid system of education.

On Tuesdsay Suffolk County Councillors will meet to rubber stamp the move.

If approved, St Edmunds Catholic Primary School will increase its upper age range to 11 and St Benedict’s will include pupils from the age of 11. St Louis will close although some of its facilities will be used by St Benedict’s to smooth the transition.

Cllr Mark Ereira described the meeting as the ‘nail in the coffin for probably the best school in Suffolk’. “The political decision to get rid of middle schools was made a years ago. They have pursued the policy vigorously despite the views of local people.

“The middle school system was working very well – it seems a shame to get rid of schools that are performing so well. The transition period is going to be very difficult both for pupils and staff.

“This is the final nail in he coffin for probably the best school in Suffolk.”

Meanwhile the same meeting will discuss bring forward the switch to two tier eductaion in Thurston. Council papers reveal that there is a strong backing for the move in Thurston and that it could cost less than originally thought.