What an unfortunate claim to have been made by Helen Wilson (Bury Free Press, June 15). The chaotic situation our schools are facing through the premature re-organisation to two-tier was entirely predictable and, in fact, many parents warned during consultation of the impact pushing through such an unpopular proposal for secondary provision in this area would have. The views of parents were dismissed and so naturally they sought a route for an appropriate alternative to the split site expansion plans for Thurston.
The council admitted during consultation that its preferred plan would have been for two secondary schools in this pyramid. Ixworth Middle School was originally built as a secondary school and was employed as such for many years before the switch to three-tier, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that with a return to two-tier education, local people would want to retain a high school in Ixworth.
Helen Wilson suggested delaying the opening of the Free School but this would only cause more chaos. Thurston would still have a temporary bulge, only bigger and for a bit longer, so staff could still only be employed temporarily. Children would face more transfers as Beyton would only be needed temporarily. If a Free School opens in Ixworth in 2014 as planned, that additional disruption can at least be prevented for a good number of children.
Also what would happen to the Ixworth school building if the opening was delayed, would it be left to go derelict for two years, who would maintain it? This just seems like another instance of the Thurston Partnership making proposals without thinking things through. I look forward to the day when a proposal is put forward to improve the outcomes for the children in Suffolk that genuinely has the children’s best interests at heart and is not either cost cutting or empire building clumsily disguised as improvement. Our children and school staff work hard, they deserve better.