New high school proposed

A new high school for Lowestoft and the selling off of middle and primary schools in the town are some of the options thought to be under the microscope as part of the radical changes to schooling in north Suffolk.

A new high school for Lowestoft and the selling off of middle and primary schools in the town are some of the options thought to be under the microscope as part of the radical changes to schooling in north Suffolk.

Leaked confidential documents detailing proposed options for a major shake up of education have emerged as parents get ready to take part in a vital consultation exercise to decide on the future of their children's schooling.

Suffolk County Council wants to abolish middle schools and ideas set out in the papers include the preferred option of a primary, secondary and separate post 16 centre structure.

A brand new high school could feature and a new primary school is set to be built at an 800-home development on Woods Meadow, at Oulton.

Other options consider the sale of Lothingland Middle, St Margaret's Primary and Fen Park Primary bringing in capital receipts of £3.3m. St Margaret's could be potentially moved to the site currently used by Harris Middle School.

The consultation exercise is also expected to seek people's views about the best future options for the Northfields St Nicholas, Poplars, St Margarets and the Roman Hill clusters of schools, as well as Carlton Colville and Grove Primary Schools.

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Suffolk County Council yesterday refused to comment on the documents saying there was no certainty that the ideas discussed would necessarily feature in the consultation material released on Monday for the second stage of the review.

A spokesman said: “We want to make sure that everyone receives the information at the same time. We have made it clear that everyone with an interest in the review will have the opportunity to look at the consultation information from Monday.

“Further information about the review will be available from that time on our website. We are also sending copies of the consultation document to a wide range of people and organisations ready for next week.”

The second stage of consultation mans families will be able to have their say about the controversial plans to scrap middle schools, with 30 public meetings to be held across Lowestoft between November 12 and December 12.

This comes after the council revealed it wanted to spend £23m moving to a two tier school system throughout Suffolk in a bid to improve standards of education. Lowestoft and Haverhill have been earmarked as the first areas to go through the transition.

The plans have been opposed by many parents, who formed the group Parents Against Change, as well as headteachers and teaching unions, who believe three tier education was beneficial to children.

t For more information, visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/sor

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