Parents voice fears over school facilities

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PARENTS fear the level of facilities at two schools would not be enough to cater for an intake of extra pupils as part of a switch to two tier education.

They raised their concerns at a meeting on Monday night which was one of a series to be held during a public consultation on plans to close three middle schools – Beyton, Ixworth and Blackbourne – in the Thurston area.

The overhaul would see additional year groups attend 17 primary schools and Thurston Community College, who have formed a partnership to develop the transition.

However, some parents voiced their worries that new classroom buildings at Ixworth and Great Barton primary schools to each accommodate 60 extra pupils will not provide the same level of facilities as those at the middle schools.

After the meeting at Ixworth primary, Sarah Rees, head of Great Barton, said: “Clearly environment is very important but we don’t need secondary facilities to deliver a primary curriculum. We have facilities that meet the needs of the primary curriculum. With additional classrooms and modifications we will have appropriate facilities.”

Questions were also asked about the future of staff at the middle schools. Mrs Rees told the meeting: “We’re open and willing to employ good and outstanding teachers from our middle schools that would help us to provide some continuity for our children.”

Helen Wilson, principal of Thurston Community College, said they could be given forward contracts allowing them to start work at the college at a fixed point in the future.

The consultation closes on December 9. To comment visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/sor to fill out an online questionnaire, write to SOR Thurston Area, Suffolk County Council, 8 Russell Road, Ipswich or email sor@suffolk.gov.uk