School trust chief backs bid for changes

By <b>Connie Osborne Friday 13 June 2014 Updated: 16/06 12:07

MIDDLE schools have no place in a borough school’s expansion plan parents have been told.

Claire Maclean, executive leader of Tudor Grange Academy Trust, said the current three tier system ‘did not fit’ into the Trust’s plans to change the former Kingsley College’s admission policy to take children from the age of 11.

Defending the move at a meeting with parents at Tudor Grange Academy Redditch on Tuesday (June 10), she said: “We do not believe the middle school system is best serving the needs of the children.”

She said she was ‘worried’ about how the schools were responding to changes in higher education and fully supported the 11 to 18 two tier model.

When asked if they would delay the proposal to accept Year 7 and 8 students from 2015, she said she wanted to push things forward to improve pupils education.

“We feel passionate that it is the right provision for students, so why would we wait?,” she said.

She added the Trust had the best interest of pupils’ at heart and education was tailored to every individual.

“A great part of my work is spent writing to students and talking with students. The reason I can spend time doing what I should be doing is because I’m not having to focus so much on finances or catering and all the things that can take us away from our jobs.”

She added if the Trust was motivated by money they would have not looked at schools in the county because Worcestershire had poor education funding.

But more than 300 parents voiced their concerns about the potential move, with a hand vote showing the vast majority wanted the school to stay as it was.

Parent Simon Coleman, who is also a teacher at Alcester Grammar School, said he had looked at the data presented by the Trust and it did not support the argument two tier schools performed better than those in the three tier system.

He said Walkwood Middle School was better than the national average for most primary schools, while the vast majority of schools had results which were in the top 20 per cent.

“It seems to me the evidence suggests three tier schools get better results,” he said.

Another mother said she was worried the town’s children would become ‘guinea pigs’.

She added children were parents’ prize possessions and they only get one shot at an education, while another mother stated ‘If it isn’t broke, why fix it?”

Parents can respond to TGAR’s proposal by writing to Tudor grange Academy Redditch, Woodrow Drive, Redditch, B98 7UH or e-mail agerangeconsultation@redditch.tgacademy.org.uk by Friday, June 20.

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