Pupils hit out at shake-up proposals

Children have spoken out against plans to axe middle schools in Suffolk. The county's 40 middle schools face closure after Suffolk County Council's policy development panel voiced its support for a two-tier system of primary and secondary schools.

Children have spoken out against plans to axe middle schools in Suffolk.

The county's 40 middle schools face closure after Suffolk County Council's policy development panel voiced its support for a two-tier system of primary and secondary schools.

But middle school pupils in Beccles, Saxmundham, Bungay and Halesworth have criticised the plans. Twelve-year-old Katie Mummery and her friend Emma Sison, both pupils at Beccles Middle School, have written to their county councillors, Mark Bee and John Taylor, to express their views.

In the letter they argue that the current system works well and should be retained, and the bigger age range in a two-tier system would make children feel unhappy, uncomfortable and may cause bullying. They have also had a petition signed by the majority of the school.

Katie said: "You meet people and make friends gradually at middle school and middle schools provide a gentle, slightly relaxed way of doing this."

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council said: "We did consult with children and young people in the summer and the panel used their observations and that evidence to help them reach their recommendation."

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The recommendations are due to be discussed by the council in the New Year.