Gove advice for change to two-tier

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Ruffley is to meet the Education Secretary to

discuss concerns invol-ving the reorganisation of the county’s schools.

Mr Ruffley and Cllr Graham Newman, Suffolk County Council portfolio holder for children, schools and young people’s services, are to have a meeting with Michael Gove in September.

Mr Ruffley has expressed concerns about middle schools’ co-operation with moving to the two-tier system after three schools in the Stowmarket area were given academy status.

“Academy status may encourage them not to co-operate. They might say that they can do what they like, that’s the problem,” he said.

“The meeting is to find out what the terms of granting the academy status were and whether it was conditional.”

Stowmarket Middle, Combs Middle and Needham Market Middle Schools were given academy status last month.

Mr Ruffley is keen to move forward with plans to reorganise the Suffolk school system to a “much-needed” two-tier system.

“There is a reason 98 per cent of schools in the UK are in a two-tier system, not a middle school system. Two-tier delivers higher academic standards,” Mr Ruffley said.

The MP, who represents the Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket areas, also said he will be lobbying for capital funding for his constituency and county when he meets the Education Secretary.

He said it was important to establish how much capital funding the county will get as middle schools have agreed to move to the new system providing the funding is there to make primary schools and high schools bigger.

n Meetings for the Bury and Thurston school pyramids have already been held and a Stowmarket school pyramid meeting will be held in September.

n Mr Ruffley is also organising a meeting for all school headteachers and governing bodies in October to decide when the reorganisation process will happen.