Tier changes could cause school chaos

editorial image

A Sandy councillor is warning of future chaos in the town’s schools.

Four schools – Robert Peel Lower, St Swithuns Lower and Moggerhanger Lower, and Sandy Upper School, all part of The Pinnacle Trust – have sent out letters to parents before the school holidays raising the possibility of moving the schools from a three-tier to a two-tier system.

The three lower schools are looking to become 3-11 age group primary schools and Sandy Upper is looking to admit pupils at age 11 and become an 11-18 secondary school.

But Cllr Nigel Aldis says two other schools in the 
town – Laburnum Lower and Maple Tree Lower – want to stay as they are and send their 
pupils to the Sandye Place Academy which intends to remain a 9-13 middle school, staying in the three-tier system.

He said: “Parents knew nothing about it, all they had heard were whispers that schools would go primary and secondary.

“For the schools who want to stay three tier they could potentially lose half their intake.

“Central Beds Council’s policy is to let the parents decide what they want and then to rubber stamp the change. Surely they need to be more pro-active and get the schools together to sort out a sensible scheme for Sandy?”

Sue Harrison, Director of Children’s Services, said: “We are aware that a number of schools in the Sandy area have expressed an interest in reviewing the structure of education in the area.

“All proposals will need to be consulted on, and the views of parents and other interested parties will be taken into account before any decisions are made.

“We understand that such proposals can cause uncertainty for everyone, so will be meeting with all schools in the area on 4 October to find out their intentions and to discuss the possible implications of any changes.”

On our Facebook page Amy Pugsley said: “It’s only Bedfordshire that has a three tier schooling system still so it’s only a matter of time till it will change to match the rest of the country.

“But too different systems in the same town would be silly.”