Parents fight against middle school closure

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A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save St Louis Middle School, in Bury St Edmunds, from closure in 2013.

Parents launched a petition at the school on Saturday during a craft fair and have so far gained about 80 signatures.

The Catholic school, in St Andrew’s Street South, was rated as outstanding by Ofsted inspectors earlier this year.

Despite that the East Anglian Diocese wants to scrap its middle schools and move to a two tier system – even though Suffolk County Council’s plan to make the whole of the Bury area two tier are on hold for at least seven years, due to funding shortages.

Bernadine and Michael Miller, from Barrow, have a daughter at the school at another at St Edmunds Catholic Primary, in Westgate Street – under the plans she will be in the first year to stay on at her primary school.

“It just seems nonsensical and a waste of money,” said Bernadine. “St Louis is a brilliant school. You couldn’t ask for better.

“Some of the opportunities for children will be reduced because we will be out of sync with the rest of the town.”

She said the move could impact on things like football competitions and music events and questioned whether older primary school children under the new system will be able to compete and perform alongside children at the other middle schools. She is calling for the move to be delayed until the wider switch to two tier education in Bury is made.

The diocese said the decision is needed because council changes to the three tier system are already under way in Haverhill, Newmarket and Sudbury. Some children from those areas feed into St Louis. A consultation over the diocese move is due to be held early next year.

“A lot of people think it is a done deal but it is not,” said Bernadine. “We are asking fore the diocese to meet with us and listen to what we have to say and think again.”

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