Unions call for delay to Council decision -
Closing Middle Schools the "height of folly"

Feb 27, 2007

Suffolk County Council should delay its decision to change the county's school system, a statement from all the Unions involved in Suffolk education says.

"It would be the height of folly to destroy what is working well," the NUT, ATL, NASUWT and UNISON unions say in their joint statement,

"The Trade Unions consider that any final decision by the full council to proceed with closure of the Middle Schools...should be delayed until after clear and full proposals are published and accepted, via consultation, giving details of the future of each of the Middle Schools, their buildings, staff and pupils," the statement says.

"We support the council in its efforts to plan the best education system for our children. The Unions do, however, favour any particular structure as the only arrangement which can deliver good results. We have no preference for a 2-tier or 3-tier system as better or worse than the other.

"The teachers and support staff we represent are, however, totally opposed to:

We know that some of our Middle Schools provide excellent education and have great parental support. It would be the height of folly to destroy what is working well. The growing opposition from parents, pupils and staff invovled, indicates that there are advantages to having a separate deicated buildings and staffing to bridge the transfer from Primary to Secondary education. Where this is successful, it should be alloweed to continue.

We believe that any changes to the structure of education at KeyStage 2 and Keystage 3 should only be considered as part of a wholesale review of provision up to age 19."

The unions accuse the Council of lacking any "clear vision of what will replace" Middle Schools, and called for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancy for staff.

"For there to be meaningful consultation, the original proposals must be withdrawn," they say.




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