Stratton Upper School 'pleased' about CBC's plans for two tier system

'We believe a two-tier system at Stratton Upper School will provide the best possible educational opportunities for students'

Thursday, 10th June 2021, 10:22 am
Updated Thursday, 10th June 2021, 10:24 am

The Principal of Stratton Upper School has spoken out about Central Bedfordshire Council s plans to establish a two-tier schooling system.

Last week, the Chronicle announced that the council had published a paper that proposes changes for areas including Potton, Biggleswade, Dunton and Wrestlingworth, which would see many institutions transition to either primary or secondary providers.

For secondary education, the paper proposes the following: Edward Peake Middle transitions as a 6 form entry (FE) secondary –growing to 8FE (in line with growth); Stratton Upper transitions to 8FE secondary, with scope to grow (in line with growth); one sixth form in the town open to pupils from both secondary schools.

Stratton Upper School.
Stratton Upper School.

Roz Hodges, Principal of Stratton Upper School which is part of Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust, said: “We are pleased to see this proposal from Central Bedfordshire Council outlining plans for the future of schools in Biggleswade. We believe a two-tier system at Stratton Upper School will provide the best possible educational opportunities for students and give the greatest chance of success at GCSE and A-level.

“This is particularly relevant given the enhanced content of the new 9-1 grading scheme in key subjects such as science and modern foreign languages. There is a need for these to be delivered over a comprehensively planned and coherent five-year curriculum journey.

“We also believe a strong two-tier system will reduce the number of transition points for pupils. Having too many transition points can lead to a disrupted educational journey for young people and their families.

“The original HIF proposal included plans for a second Sixth Form in Biggleswade East. We believe it is clear that there are not sufficient numbers to sustain two school Sixth Forms in the town. Doing so would lead to narrow and unsustainable curriculum offers which would be to the detriment of students and their families.

“At Stratton Upper School we are proud to have a very strong Sixth Form where our students’ achievements regularly place us in the top 20% of Sixth Form providers. This hard-earned success is due to the commitment and positive working relationships fostered between staff, students and parents.

“We are pleased to be working with Central Bedfordshire Council and our partners to develop this already strong Sixth Form offer to ensure it provides the best possible opportunities for the young people of Biggleswade and the surrounding villages, in its current strong, physical location.

“This is reinforced by Cambridge Meridian Academies Trust’s success and experiences of delivering a similar offer at Bishop Laney Sixth Form in Ely. We believe that this is a sustainable and high quality Sixth Form offer we can shape with local partners now and in the future.”