Two tier switch gets thumbs down
Posted on July 13, 2006
County Hall meeting turns tables on schools shake-up.
A meeting at County Hall has voted NOT to make a huge change to the county's school's set-up - despite being urged to do so by their own experts.
The Beds County Council vote means that the three-tier school system of lower, middle and upper schools - which has already been replaced by the more usual two tier system of primary and secondary schools virtually everywhere else in the country - will continue.
The vote also called for an action plan designed to improve standards at schools across the country and raise standards to the average achieved by pupils in comparable areas by the time they are able to leave school at 16.
Progress will be monitored through a performance management structure. The County Council will formally review progress in late 2009.
Councillor Rita Drinkwater, cabinet member for education, said: "We have accepted the view of the County Council on school structures and will now be getting on with implementing the amended recommendations."
Parents and teachers across the county were outraged by the suggestion that the county should switch systems, fearing years of disruption and huge bills.
But fans of the idea said that Bedfordshire schools were under-achieving, that the move could protect the future of smaller schools and that the county was increasingly out of step with the schools set-up in the rest of the country.
Source: Dunstable Gazette, 12 July 2006
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