Heads pledge ‘smooth transition’ for pupils moving to two tier schooling

Geoff Barton, head at King Edward VI School, and Andy Prestoe, principal of the Sybil Andrews Academy ANL-161105-105259001
Geoff Barton, head at King Edward VI School, and Andy Prestoe, principal of the Sybil Andrews Academy ANL-161105-105259001
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The headteachers of Bury St Edmunds’ oldest and newest schools met this week to confirm shared transition arrangements as the majority of the town moves to two tier education.

Andy Prestoe, principal of the new Sybil Andrews Academy, off Lady Miriam Way, and Geoff Barton, head at King Edward VI School, have strengthened their commitment to work with the heads of the Bury Schools Partnership.

The partnership is overseeing the majority of the town’s move to two tier schooling, which will see Howard, St James, Hardwick and St Louis Middle Schools close in July.

They aim to make the process ‘as smooth as possible’ with any child moving to either of the two schools ‘guaranteed high pastoral care and excellent communication with parents’.

Mr Barton said: “It’s been a turbulent time in education for parents and children over recent years, with lots of uncertainty.

“At last the final arrangements are falling into place - with exciting new curriculum plans, new and familiar teachers and brilliant new facilities at both our schools for our new generation of Year 7 and 8 students.

“Whether a child is moving up to Sybil Andrews Academy or King Edward’s, we will work in partnership rather than competition to make sure their transition is as smooth as possible.”

Mr Prestoe added: “We are really excited to be about to open our new academy and delighted that parents and students have been overwhelming in their support.

“As newcomers to Bury St Edmunds, we want to work with the other schools in the town to further enhance the opportunities available to pupils - this is one way of doing that.

“Experience tells us that any transition within a school, to a new site or to a new school can, when combined with the sometimes overly complex arrangements around admissions, cause anxiety and uncertainty for pupils and parents.

“Our commitment is to work together to remove that worry for pupils and at the same time make sure that parents have the accurate information they need help them find the best school for their child.”