Huge impact feared of schools changes

By Connie Osborne Thursday 05 June 2014 Updated: 06/06 17:21

A TSUNAMI of chaos could be unleashed on Redditch schools leaving children in 'portakabin city' a headteacher has warned.

Joy Vater, acting headteacher at Walkwood Middle School, spoke out at a meeting with parents on Tuesday (June 3) as it was revealed several schools have unveiled plans to change their admission ages.

It follows a proposal by Tudor Grange Academy Redditch to expand to take in pupils from the age of 11 which has led to fears it could destabilise middle schools across the borough and result in closures and mergers.

In response, Ridgeway Middle School has now launched a consultation on taking pupils up to the age of 16 instead of 13 as currently, while Webheath Academy First School and Astwood Bank Academy First School are examining the prospect of expanding into larger primary schools.

Mrs Vater said Tudor Grange's plans had the potential to cause chaos across the borough, causing middle and first schools to worry about their future.

"Tudor Grange dropping one little pebble has the impact to cause a tsunami in the town," she said.

"We feel it is a direct threat to us as a school but also the children across the town. It has the potential to cause absolute chaos.

"Where are all the pupils going to go and how are these changes going to impact them? It will be portakabin city."

More than 150 parents turned up to the meeting to ask teachers and governors about how the proposals could impact the school as well as pupils.

But Martyn West, assistant headteacher, said he did not know what the future held for the school but would do everything in his power to keep it as it was.

He added he had a list of questions to put to Tudor Grange including why were they not able to work collaboratively with the rest of the town's schools as well as why they were trying to rush the proposals through.

He urged parents to write letters to the school in an attempt to try and slow down the changes.

"We are very much about the child at this school and we will do everything we can to fight this plan. It is not beneficial for the children of

Redditch, the children of Walkwood, or for the parents."

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