Union boss says closure of school ‘defies logic’

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A TEACHING union has urged the chairman of the East Anglian Diocesan Schools Service to reconsider the decision to close St Louis Middle School in 2013.

Martin Goold, assistant secretary of the National Union of Teachers’ (NUT) Suffolk division, has written to the Rev Roger Sparks to request talks on the future of the Bury St Edmunds school.

In the letter, Mr Goold says there is a ‘lack of logic’ in closing the school early and pushes an alternative to the plans.

St Louis is closing as the diocese want to move to a two tier system, despite Suffolk County Council’s introduction of two tier in Bury being postponed by at least seven years.

And Mr Goold put forward a federation system, wherein St Louis would work with St Benedict’s Upper School, as a viable alternative.

The scheme would involve the schools having either a ‘soft’ federation, where each would maintain separate governing bodies, or a ‘hard’ federation with a shared governing body.

Mr Goold said: “A federated arrangement would enable the diocese to make best use of existing staff, buildings and provision as pupil numbers in Years 5 and 6 reduce because of reorganistion outside Bury St Edmunds.

“Federating St Louis with St Benedict’s now will enable the Catholic pyramid to keep in step and keep all future options open.”

The letter also stated that closing the school would achieve neither raising standards at key stage two or standardising school organisation across the county, the two main objectives of the School Organisational Review.

Parents launched a petition to save the school last week. Organiser Bernadine Miller said: “I think there is a lot of support. We have more than 200 signatures so far.”

The petition is now available in the Bury Free Press reception and at The Lounge, in Hatter Street. Bernadine is looking for other outlets were she can make the petition available and is also developing a website which will give campaign news. In the meantim,e she has a blog at http://stlouisthinkagain.blogspot.com

The county council’s reorganisation of the system has been delayed after the Government withdrew its Building Schools for the Future funding.