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Four middle schools face closure

PUBLISHED: 12:02 10 October 2008 | UPDATED: 21:28 05 July 2010

FOUR major schools in Waveney face closure under Suffolk County Council's plan to scrap middle schools by 2013, it has been revealed.

Beccles Middle, Worlingham Middle, Halesworth Middle and Bungay Middle are the latest schools set to be dropped from the system, under recommendations set out in the recently published School Organisation Review.

FOUR major schools in Waveney face closure under Suffolk County Council's plan to scrap middle schools by 2013, it has been revealed.

Beccles Middle, Worlingham Middle, Halesworth Middle and Bungay Middle are the latest schools set to be dropped from the system, under recommendations set out in the recently published School Organisation Review.

Parents are being asked to have their say on the proposed changes at public meetings over the next six weeks.

Admissions would stop at Beccles Middle and Worlingham Middle in September 2011, with classes continuing for 10-12 year olds until the pupils move up to high school.

Sir John Leman High School would lower its intake age from 13 to 11 and possibly make use of the Beccles Middle site, while the new Worlingham Primary School could be established at the village's old middle-school grounds.

Bungay Primary would move to the town's middle-school site and take children aged between four and 11, instead of the current four to nine range.

Bungay High School would take pupils from the age of 11 instead of 13 and use part of the old primary school grounds until it moved into a new development.

Most other primary schools would extend their age ranges to keep pupils until they are 11.

Despite the proposed changes, the Suffolk authority maintains it is committed to safeguarding the future of small village schools.

The school organisation review document says: “Priority will be given to safeguarding the position of village schools, recognising their place at the heart of their communities, with the possibility of federation or other measures where their viability is at risk.”

The consultation period ends on December 15.

Suffolk's cabinet will consider the responses in February, after which changes will be published, followed by a second round of public consideration.

A final decision will be made by the end of 2009, with the two-tier system expected to be fully in place by 2012.

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