Warning over major changes to Droitwich school system - The Droitwich Standard

Warning over major changes to Droitwich school system

Droitwich Editorial 16th Jan, 2015 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016   0

CHILDREN could suffer the consequences of a chaotic and unplanned change to the school tier system if proposed plans go ahead, the Droitwich MP has warned.

Sir Peter Luff has urged schools to not rush the move from a three tier system to a two tier one as he claims there would be a real risk of damage to pupils’ education.

Mr Luff said he knew Droitwich High School which was currently conducting a consultation was motivated to improve educational outcomes and he wanted to applaud that intent.

But, he said he expected the changes, if they were all made, to make some middle schools unsustainable.

Mr Luff said a major structural upheaval, whatever its merits or problems, would cost a lot of money and it was not clear where funding would come from.

He added while some schools believed they could make these type of changes easily, it would have consequences on many first schools.

Mr Luff said first schools which sought no change would be forced to change and may not be able to afford it.

He added middle schools may choose to respond by becoming full primary schools, creating new and unforeseen competition for pupils, probably leading to the closure of other first schools.

Mr Luff said the legislation did lay down a due process but there should be a further period of reflection while Worcestershire County Council and the other schools considered the best way forward.

“Time is needed, there is no rush,” he added.

“I appeal to all school governing bodies currently in consultation, or considering it, not to hurry through this process.”

Droitwich Spa High School will be holding a consultation until February 27 when Governors will consider the best way foward after they have taken into account everyone’s feedback.

The school takes most of its students at the age of 12, in year eight, and is proposing, from September 2016, to allow students to join the at 11, in year seven.

A slight fall in the number of children across the local school system has made the change practically possible.

Headteacher Natalie Waters said secondary curriculum began at 11 – the natural point to join secondary school in most areas, including Worcester.

“There is a lot to be said for offering an uninterrupted secondary education to families in the Droitwich area,” she added.

But Cath Crossley, Witton Middle School’s headteacher, said the effects of the change could be highly disruptive and could lower standards.

She added she was deeply concerned about the impact on the children and their families, given the rushed timescales and the lack of dialogue.

A meeting regarding the proposals will be held at Droitwich Spa High School on Monday (January 19).

Visit www.droitwichspahigh.worcs.sch.uk for more or www.witton.worcs.sch.uk to read a letter sent out by Mrs Crossley to parents.


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