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Anger at cost of middle school shake up

PUBLISHED: 08:35 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:40 06 July 2010

THE cost of a review into a major shake-up of Suffolk's education system - including the abolition of 40 middle schools - is costing millions of pounds more than expected, it has emerged.

THE cost of a review into a major shake-up of Suffolk's education system - including the abolition of 40 middle schools - is costing millions of pounds more than expected, it has emerged.

Campaigners against the changes expressed their anger last night after a Suffolk County Council report admitted there were “significant risks” in the current funding for the scheme.

The authority originally forecast that the cost of implementing the School Organisation Review (SOR) would be £23m, but that figure has now risen to £27m.

It has sparked calls for the entire process to be put on ice amid fears that the financial position could worsen.

“There must be better ways to spend this huge amount of taxpayers' money than wrecking a perfectly good education system, causing years of unnecessary upheaval, and creating a system that will be no better (and in our opinion be considerably worse) than the one we have now,” said a spokesman for the Save Suffolk Middle Schools group.

“This situation defies belief. It is time the SOR process was halted and the money invested in our existing schools, for the immediate benefit of all our children.”

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council, said the extra cost demonstrated “us being prudent''.

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